Win-Win: Safer Laparoscopic Surgery in Less Time


ClickClean instantly cleans the scope without removing from the abdomen, so the surgeon’s view stays sharp and clear. No more frustrating, repeated delays for scope removal, cleaning, and reinsertion in the OR.

Scope cleaning has always been a major frustration for laparoscopic surgeons. We put all of our focus on performing surgery, and we’re repeatedly interrupted by the need to clean the lens.

The situation looks like this: Surgery is underway. We have a perfect view. We’re retracting something very nicely. If it’s a difficult procedure, we might think, “This has been tough, but now I’m making progress.” Suddenly, we can’t see. The scope has fluid, smoke, or grease on it. We stop what we’re doing and let go of the tissue we’ve been retracting. We pull out the scope, clean it, and reinsert it to the same location. Sometimes we still can’t see clearly, so we take it out and clean it again. Then we try to pick up where we left off a few minutes earlier. Sometimes it’s hard to get the same perfect angle we had before. We think, “I just had it!” but it takes another 10 minutes to get it just right and resume surgery.

This happens over and over throughout surgery – in some cases, every 3 to 4 minutes. Struggling with visualization makes the case 10 times more difficult. Nothing about surgery frustrates and fatigues me more. More importantly, operating through a cloudy lens is as unsafe as a surgeon wearing dirty glasses. And everything that prolongs surgery and anesthesia use increases risk, especially for patients with other health problems.

When a surgery rep told me about ClickClean, which would allow me to click a button to clean the scope without removing it at all, I said, “I’m already interested.” After trying it a few times, I told him, “I want this – that’s all there is to it.”

A Safer, Faster Way
ClickClean is a clear microfilm sheath that covers the laparoscope’s tip, including the lens. As blood, smoke and debris hurt visibility, the surgeon clicks the device, advancing the film so a clean length covers the lens. We instantly get an unobscured view. We can see clearly and work safely throughout the entire case. The ClickClean device fits standard 10mm scopes; a 5mm version is in development. And it’s very easy to use – just clicking a button.

The OR time we save can be significant. Ten 3-minute cleanings add 30 minutes to surgery, and now that’s erased.

Most importantly, surgery is safer and better for our patients. With better visualization, dissection is safer, easier, and faster, with less risk of injuring surrounding structures. Because surgeons can focus solely on the procedure without interruptions, we can always work to the best of our abilities.

Shaving time off of surgery is an enormous benefit in acute cases, where speed is key. If my patient has an acute gallbladder infection or perforated appendicitis, I need to remove the organ as quickly as possible. In all cases, it’s good to reduce the time patients spend under anesthesia, but that is especially important when patients are elderly or obese or have respiratory problems, diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems.

When I laid out these safety advantages, the potential for better outcomes, and the efficiency of ClickClean, it was an easy decision for me and for my administrator. We’ve eliminated perhaps the biggest frustration for any laparoscopic surgeon and saved ourselves some OR time, all while doing better for our patients.

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Jessica Carlson

MD, is a general surgeon at Curry Medical Practice and Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, Oregon