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Footswitches for keyhole surgery applications

Keyhole surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery, is a surgical technique that uses small incisions and specialised instruments to perform procedures with less tissue damage and reduced recovery time compared to traditional open surgery. It is used for a variety of procedures including abdominal surgery, digestive system procedures and examination of the airways.

Foot pedals for controlling surgical instruments

The surgery is performed using an endoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light source, which transmits images from inside the body to a monitor in the surgical room. Surgeons can also pass other equipment, such as scissors, forceps, graspers and suction tubes, through the small incisions as required. Footswitches are often used to control aspects of the surgery to allow the surgeon to engage and disengage different instruments and use both hands exclusively for manipulation. In electrosurgery applications, for instance, foot pedals control the activation and deactivation of the electrical current being delivered to the surgical instrument being used to cut, coagulate or remove tissue. Robotic surgery, which also relies on small incisions and high-tech cameras, is conducted by the surgeon who controls the robotic arms from a console, dissecting, cutting and stitching as necessary with footswitches playing a key role in control of the equipment.

Medical foot pedal specifications

When specifying a footswitch for a medical application, the design, materials used, waterproofing, and safety standards are key, with UL 60601 being the technical standard for the safety and essential performance of medical electrical equipment. Medical foot pedals are typically required to meet a certain level of waterproofing such as IPX7 or IPX8 to ensure safe and reliable operation. These certifications indicate the pedals have been tested for water resistance and are able to withstand immersion for a specific length of time. An ergonomic design is essential to ensure the pedals are comfortable, easy to use and avoid placing strain on the foot and ankle of the surgeon, while the high hygiene demands of medical environments means selecting pedals that are durable and constructed from materials impervious to cleaning fluids is key.

Medical foot switches from Herga

We offer a range of medically approved footswitches as well as our highly flexible Medical Design Platform. The entire modular platform holds UL 60601 approval meaning our customers can incorporate our standard electrical and Bluetooth® footswitches and puck (bellows) switches in any combination to suit their specific requirements and it will automatically be medically approved. Customers can specify elements of the foot pedal they would like to customise to meet the needs of their application including cable cables, connectors, electronics, labels, colours and logos. Alternatively, our team of engineers can support a full new product development, with the process tightly controlled within the ISO 13485 medical standard.

Furthermore, we are part of Variohm Group, which is formed of nine design and manufacturing companies with operations in the UK, the USA, Germany and Hungary. Specialising in sensors, switches, motion control and systems integration, the Group works extensively in the medical industry with application examples including sensors for patient positioning and automated micro positioning systems for precision laser surgery.




Article published on: 10/02/2023

Article last updated on: 10/02/2023