Suction is one of the most important elements of any surgical procedure. Suction provides visualization, clears airways, removes infected fluid/tissue, and is the source of an endless amount of unintentional humor utilizing the verb “suck.” Around 1907 Sidney Yankaur invented the Yankaur suction tip, which is the basis for most suction catheters used today. Medgadget was contacted by Surgimark to review their variation of the Yankaur suction, the Via-Guard. They provided two models, their “Standard” model and their “Vascular/Pediatric” model.
What makes the Via-Guard suction pretty unique in the banal world of suction tips is its Poole Converter Sleeve. During procedures which require the drainage of very large fluid collections the traditional Yankaur suction tips are often exchanged for an entirely separate “Poole” suction, which is more effective in those specific situations. The Via-Guard, however, has a sleeve attachment that slides onto the catheter without having to physically remove your suction tip from the tubing. The Via-Guard also has some flashy blue coloring and an ergonomic handle. The tip of the standard model is blue, pretty thick and partially translucent. The Vascular/Pediatric model has metal tubing connected to a blue bulb. The placement of the suction vents appear to be similar in the two models, although the bulb tip is smaller for the pediatric model.
The Standard model was not available for in vivo use, so it was used under different simulated suction conditions. The Vascular/Pediatric model was able to be used during an actual case. Both catheters were contrasted with an Argyle Yankaur Bulb tip suction. All catheters were used with standard tubing connected to a Stryker Neptune.
We’ll look at the results of the Standard model first. It was very slightly louder than our traditional suction tip. The handle felt much more comfortable in our hands, and was more pleasing to the eye. It appeared that the Via-Guard did a better job of sparing simulated soft tissue from undue suction, but we did have trouble completely removing liquid from our simulated operative field. It appeared that the suction distribution biased the suction more to the sides of the bulb tip as opposed to our traditional suction tip which appeared to derive most of its suction straight on from the tip with less venting. The “Poole” suction sleeve worked exactly as advertised and we were very impressed with the design. It definitely saves a step and is faster than switching the whole suction tip out for a separate one. It appeared to work identical to traditional Poole suction, although a comparison was not available at the time.
We then participated in a case utilizing the Vascular/Pediatric model. The first thing we noticed was how slick the suction looked. It has a very low profile, so it obscures very little of the operative field. The combination of metal and blue is also extremely pleasing to the eye. Once again the handle felt ergonomic with a great grip. The accuracy of this suction tip was very impressive. It never appeared to adhere to any soft tissue while doing a great job removing liquid accurately and completely. The small nature of the holes ensured that no large fragments of tissue clogged the suction filter, tubing, or device. The “Poole” suction sleeve was not tested for this model.
Few people get excited when discussing innovation in the field of disposable suction. We were pretty surprised to find that the Vascular/Pediatric Via-Guard suction tip is a legitimate improvement over traditional disposable Yankaur bulb suction tips. We would have to say that on its own the Standard model is an improvement in terms of its ergonomic handle and “Poole” sleeve attachment, but may have some very subtle drawbacks in terms of suction accuracy and effectiveness (please note this is only based on simulated tests). The Vascular/Pediatric model on the other hand impressed us all around and we would recommend giving it a try for cases where accurate, low-profile, and gentle suction is required.
Product page: Via-Guard…