(19)
(11)EP 3 173 030 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
31.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/22

(21)Application number: 16200194.5

(22)Date of filing:  22.12.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61B 17/072  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 14.02.2014 US 201414180578

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
14199707.2 / 2907456

(71)Applicant: Covidien LP
Mansfield, MA 02048 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • KOSTRZEWSKI, Stanislaw
    Newtown, CT 06470 (US)

(74)Representative: Soames, Candida Jane 
Maschio & Soames IP Limited 30 Carlton Crescent
Southampton SO15 2EW
Southampton SO15 2EW (GB)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 23-11-2016 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)SMALL DIAMETER ENDOSCOPIC STAPLER


(57) A surgical stapler (10) comprising: a shaft portion having a proximal end and a distal end; first and second cartridge channels (140a, 140b) extending through the shaft portion, each of the first and second cartridge channels having a distal end defining a U-shaped member (208); a pivot member (157) pivotably coupled to the distal end of the shaft portion, the pivot member being fixedly coupled to the first cartridge channel (140a) by a first post (172) and fixedly coupled to the second cartridge channel (140b) by a second post (172); and a tool assembly (114) including an anvil (182) and a cartridge assembly (180), the cartridge assembly including a cartridge body (184) and a plurality of staples (186), the cartridge body having a first leg (188) supported in the U-shaped member of the first cartridge channel and a second leg (188) supported in the U-shaped member of the second cartridge channel; wherein the first and second cartridge channels are movable axially in opposite directions to pivot the pivot member (157) in relation to the shaft portion and effect articulation of the tool assembly.


Description

BACKGROUND


Technical Field



[0001] The present disclosure relates to surgical staplers, and more particularly, to surgical staplers for laparoscopic or endoscopic use.

Background



[0002] Surgical staplers for stapling tissue during a variety of different surgical procedures are well known in the art. Such staplers typically include a knife to effect the simultaneous dissection and suturing tissue. When compared to applying manually threaded sutures, the use of staplers to suture tissue has increased the speed of the suturing process and thus, minimized patient trauma.

[0003] Surgical staplers suitable for use in open-type surgical procedures and laparoscopic or endoscopic (hereinafter "endoscopic") surgical procedures are well known. In an endoscopic surgical procedure, a surgical stapler is inserted through a small incision in the skin or through a cannula to access a surgical site. Due to the complexity of known surgical staplers as well as the staple size requirements or known staple forming apparatus, a continued need exists for small diameter staples suitable for insertion through a small diameter cannula, e.g., a 5mm cannula.

SUMMARY



[0004] A surgical stapler is described which includes a shaft portion and a tool assembly supported on a distal end of the shaft portion. The tool assembly includes an anvil and a cartridge assembly. The cartridge assembly includes a cartridge body having at least one leg defining a plurality of notches and a plurality of staples. Each of the plurality staples has a backspan and a pair of curved legs connected to the backspan. The backspan of each of the plurality of staples is rotatably supported within a respective notch of the plurality of notches. At least one firing cam includes a distal end defining a cam member which is movable within the tool assembly into sequential engagement with each of the plurality of staples. Engagement between the cam member and a staple of the plurality of staples effects rotational movement of the staple into the anvil member to fire the staple from the cartridge body.

[0005] In certain embodiments, each notch of the plurality of notches includes a cylindrical slot and the backspan of each of the plurality of staples is positioned within the cylindrical slot in a snap-fit manner.

[0006] In embodiments, the cam member of the at least one firing cam includes a first cam surface and a second cam surface. The first cam surface is positioned to engage one curved leg of the pair of curved legs of each of the plurality of staples and the second cam surface is positioned to engage the other curved leg of the pair of curved legs of each of the plurality of staples.

[0007] In certain embodiments, the at least one leg of the cartridge body includes two spaced legs and the plurality of notches are spaced axially along each of the two spaced legs. Each of the plurality of notches rotatably supports one staple of the plurality of staples.

[0008] In embodiments, the surgical stapler includes first and second cartridge channels having a distal end defining a U-shaped member and the two spaced legs of the cartridge body and secured within the U-shaped members.

[0009] In certain embodiments, the at least one firing cam includes first and second firing cams. Each of the cam members of the first and second firing cams has a U-shape and is positioned about one of the two spaced legs of the cartridge body and within the U-shaped member of one of the first and second cartridge channels.

[0010] In an embodiment, the surgical stapler includes a pivot member pivotably secured to the distal end of the shaft portion and fixedly secured to each of the first and second cartridge channels.

[0011] In certain embodiments, the surgical stapler includes a first articulation link having a distal end secured to a proximal end of the first cartridge channel and a second articulation link secured to a proximal end of the second cartridge channel. The first and second articulation links is axially movable to effect axial movement of the first and second cartridge channels in relation to each other to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion.

[0012] In embodiments, the surgical stapler includes a pivotal articulation member interconnecting the first articulation link to the second articulation link such that movement of the first articulation link in one direction effects movement of the second articulation link in an opposite direction.

[0013] In certain embodiments, each of the pair of curved legs of the plurality of staples is U-shaped and includes a proximal leg portion connected to the backspan and a distal leg portion having a tapered tip.

[0014] In embodiments, the at least one leg of the cartridge body includes a plurality of dimples wherein each of the dimples is positioned to engage the proximal leg portion of one of the plurality of staples to stabilize the plurality of staples on the cartridge body.

[0015] In certain embodiments, the plurality of staples are supported along the cartridge body such that the proximal leg portion of each staple of the plurality of staples is positioned to guide the distal leg portion of a proximally positioned adjacent staple of the plurality of staples as the proximally positioned adjacent staple is fired from the cartridge body.

[0016] In certain embodiments, the distal-most staple of the plurality of staples is a dummy staple which is positioned to guide an adjacent proximal staple during firing but is not fired.

[0017] A surgical stapler is also described which includes a shaft portion having a proximal end and a distal end and first and second cartridge channels extending through the shaft portion. Each of the first and second cartridge channels has a distal end defining a U-shaped member. A pivot member is pivotally coupled to the distal end of the shaft portion and fixedly coupled to the first cartridge channel by a first post and fixedly coupled to the second cartridge channel by a second post. A tool assembly includes an anvil and a cartridge assembly. The cartridge assembly includes a cartridge body and a plurality of staples. The cartridge body has a first leg supported in the U-shaped member of the first cartridge channel and a second leg supported in the U-shaped member of the second cartridge channel, wherein the first and second cartridge channels are movable axially in opposite directions to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion and effect articulation of the tool assembly.

[0018] In embodiments, the surgical further includes a first articulation link having a distal end secured to a proximal end of the first cartridge channel and a second articulation link secured to a proximal end of the second cartridge channel. The first and second articulation links are axially movable to effect axial movement of the first and second cartridge channels in relation to each other to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion.

[0019] In certain embodiments, the surgical further includes a pivotal articulation member interconnecting the first articulation link to the second articulation link such that movement of the first articulation link in one direction effects movement of the second articulation link in an opposite direction.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0020] Various embodiments of the presently disclosed small diameter surgical stapler are described herein with reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of an embodiment of the presently disclosed small diameter surgical stapler in an unapproximated position;

FIG. 1A is a side perspective view from the distal end of a stapler reload of the surgical stapler shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view from the proximal end of the surgical stapler reload shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 3 is a side perspective, exploded view of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 3A is a top, perspective view of a distal end of the upper housing half-section of the proximal body portion, a pivot member, and a connecting member with parts separated;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of a staple of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a side perspective, exploded view of the cartridge and staples of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a side, cutaway view of the cartridge body supporting a staple;

FIG. 9 is a side, perspective view of a cartridge channel of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the cartridge channel shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of the indicated area shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 13 is a perspective, partial cross-sectional view taken along section line 13-13 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a side, perspective view of a firing cam of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 15 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a perspective, partial cross-sectional view taken along section line 16-16 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a side, perspective view of the cartridge assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3 supported on a distal end of the firing cams;

FIG. 18 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a side, perspective view of the cartridge assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 3 supported on the distal ends of the cartridge channels and firing cams;

FIG. 20 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a top view of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 1A with the tool assembly in an unapproximated position;

FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 22-22 of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 23-23 of FIG. 21;

FIG. 24 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 25-25 of FIG. 21;

FIG. 26 is a top, perspective view of the tool assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 21 with the tool assembly in the approximated position and the firing cams advanced into engagement with a proximal-most staple of the plurality of staples;

FIG. 27 is a side, cross-sectional view of the tool assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 26;

FIG. 28 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is a side, cross-sectional view of the tool assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 21 with the firing cams advanced into engagement with a second proximal-most staple;

FIG. 30 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 29;

FIG. 31 is a side, cross-sectional view of the tool assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 21 with the firing cams advanced to disengage the proximal-most staple of the plurality of staples from a notch in the cartridge body;

FIG. 32 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 31;

FIG. 33 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 33-33 of FIG. 31;

FIG. 34 is a side, perspective view of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 1A in a non-articulated and unapproximated position with the proximal tube of the proximal body portion and the shaft tube of the shaft portion removed;

FIG. 35 is a top perspective view of the proximal body portion of the stapler reload with the proximal tube removed and the upper housing half section removed;

FIG. 36 is a top perspective view of the upper housing half section of the proximal body portion of the stapler reload;

FIG. 37 is a top, perspective view of the proximal body portion of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 35 with the proximal tube and the upper housing half section removed and the articulation member rotated; and

FIG. 38 is a top view of the tool assembly of the stapler reload shown in FIG. 26 in an articulated position.


Detailed Description of Embodiments



[0021] Embodiments of the presently disclosed small diameter surgical stapler will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding elements in each of the several views. In this description, the term "proximal" is used generally to refer to the portion of the apparatus that is closer to a clinician, while the term "distal" is used generally to refer to the portion of the apparatus that is farther from the clinician. In addition, the term "endoscopic" is used generally to refer to endoscopic, laparoscopic, arthroscopic, and any other surgical procedure performed through a small incision or a cannula inserted into a patient's body.

[0022] The presently disclosed surgical stapler includes a tool assembly which supports a series of staples which are supported and configured to be rotatably ejected from a staple cartridge into an anvil to suture tissue. The manner in which the staples are supported and ejected from within the staple cartridge facilitates the use of a small diameter tool assembly which includes staples capable of suturing thicker tissues than would normally be associated with tool assemblies with such a small diameter.

[0023] FIG. 1-2 illustrate the presently disclosed surgical stapler 10 which includes an actuating device 12 having a handle assembly 12a, a body portion 14 which extends distally from the handle portion 12, and a stapler reload 100 supported on a distal end of the body portion 14. The distal end of the body portion 14 is adapted to releasably engage a proximal end of the reload 100 such that actuation of the actuating device 12 effects operation of the reload 100. A suitable actuating device is disclosed in detail in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,865,361 ("361 patent") and 7,143,924 ("924 patent") which are hereby incorporated herein in their entirety by reference. Although the presently disclosed actuating device is illustrated as a manually actuated handle assembly, it is envisioned that the reload 100 could be actuated by other known actuating devices including robotic devices, motorized devices, and/or electrically or mechanically driven devices.

[0024] In an alternate embodiment, the reload 100 can be fixedly attached to the distal end of the handle assembly 12 and only a cartridge assembly of a tool assembly can be removable and replaceable. Alternatively, a removable and replaceable reload can also have a removable and replaceable cartridge.

[0025] Referring also to FIG. 3, the reload 100 includes a proximal body portion 110, an elongated shaft portion 112 and a tool assembly 114. The proximal body portion 110 includes an inner housing 116 defined by an upper housing half-section 116a and a lower housing half-section 116b. The housing half-sections 116a and 116b define channels which slidably receive a proximal drive member 118, a first articulation link 120 and a second articulation link 122. The housing half-sections 116a and 116b are received within a proximal tube 125.

[0026] The first articulation link 120 is connected to the second articulation link 122 by an articulation member 123 which will be described in detail below. The proximal drive member 118 supports a drive coupler 124 which is adapted to engage a control rod (not shown) of the actuating device 12 (FIG. 1) to operate the tool assembly 114 of the reload 100. The proximal drive member 118 also supports a locking assembly 126 which includes a locking device 128 and a spring 130. Operation of the drive coupler 124 and the locking assembly 126 are described in the '361 patent which is incorporated herein by reference. A distal end of the proximal drive member 118 includes a hook portion 118a. Similarly, distal ends of the first articulation link 120 and the second articulation link 122 include hook portions 120a and 122a, respectively. Each of these hook portions will be described in further detail below.

[0027] The elongated shaft portion 112 includes an inner housing 134 defined by upper and lower housing half-sections 134a and 134b. A proximal end of the inner housing 134 is received within the distal end of the inner housing 116 of the proximal body portion 110 and includes an annular recess 135 (Fig. 25). The annular recess 135 receives a protrusion 116c formed within the inner housing 116 to axially secure the inner housing 116 of the proximal body portion 110 to the inner housing 134 of the shaft portion 112. The upper and lower housing half-sections 134a and 134b define channels which slidably receive a pair of distal drive members 136a and 136b, a pair of firing cams 138a and 138b, and a pair of cartridge channels 140a and 140b. A proximal end of each of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b defines a cutout 142a and 142b, respectively. The cutouts 142a and 142b of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b receive the hook portions 120a and 122a, respectively of the first and second articulation links 120 and 122 such that linear movement of the first and second articulation links 120 and 122 effects linear movement of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b as will be discussed in further detail below. A proximal end of each of the distal drive members 136a and 136b includes a hook portion 144 which is engaged with the hook portion 118a of the proximal drive member 118. Similarly, a proximal end of each of the firing cams 138a and 138b includes a hook portion 146 which is also engaged with the hook portion 118a of the proximal drive member 118. Movement of the proximal drive member 118 effects corresponding movement of the distal drive members 136a and 136b and of the firing cams 138a and 138b as will be discussed in further detail below.

[0028] The distal end of the distal drive members 136a and 136b are secured to a working member 150 such as by welding. In one embodiment, the working member 150 includes an upper beam 152, a lower beam 154 and a vertical strut 156 interconnecting the upper and lower beams 152 and 154. A cutting edge 156a is formed in or supported on a distal end of the vertical strut 156. The vertical strut 156 is movably positioned between the cartridge channels 140a and 140b, the firing cams 138a and 138b and the legs 188 of the cartridge body 184. The working member 150 is positioned and configured to move through the tool assembly 114 when the distal drive members 136a and 136b are advanced distally within the elongated shaft portion 112 as will be discussed in detail below.

[0029] Referring also to FIG. 3A, a pivot member 157 is secured to a distal end of the shaft housing half-sections 134a and 134b by upper and lower connecting members 160a and 160b. Each connecting member 160a and 160b includes a distal end which defines an opening 162 and a proximal end 164 which defines a stepped configuration. The stepped configuration of the proximal end 164 is received within a cutout 166 formed in the distal end of each of the upper and lower shaft housing half-sections 134a and 134b to axially fix the upper and lower connecting members 160a and 160b to the upper and lower shaft housing half-sections 134a and 134b, respectively. The openings 162 of the connecting members 160a and 160b each receive a respective pivot pin 170 (only one shown) formed on the upper and lower surfaces of the pivot member 156 to pivotally secure the pivot member 157 to the shaft housing half-sections 134a and 134b. The pivot member 157 also includes two transversely extending posts 172. Each post 172 is received in an opening 210a (FIG. 13) formed in one of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b to secure the pivot member 156 between the cartridge channels 140a and 140b.

[0030] Referring to FIGS. 3-8, the tool assembly 114 includes a cartridge assembly 180 and an anvil 182. The cartridge assembly 180 (FIG. 6) includes a cartridge body 184 and a plurality of staples that initially have the shape of an open loop. In certain embodiments, the staples are generally U-shaped staples 186 with two prongs or legs. The cartridge body 184 includes a tapered distal end 186 and first and second spaced legs 188. The tapered distal end 186 of the cartridge body 184 functions as a tissue guide and includes three proximally extending fingers 190. One of the fingers 190 is positioned on each side of each of the spaced legs 188 with one finger 190 being positioned between the spaced legs 188. Each of the fingers 190 defines a recess 192 with an adjacent leg 188. The recesses 192 receive the distal ends 191 of the firing cams 138a and 138b to secure the cartridge body 184 to the distal end of the firing cams 138a and 138b.

[0031] Each of the first and second spaced legs 188 includes a series of spaced notches 196 and a pair of dimples 198 associated with each notch 196. Each of the dual staples 186 includes a backspan 200 and a pair of spaced U-shaped curved legs or prongs 201. Each of the curved legs 201 includes a proximal leg portion 202a and a distal leg portion 202b. One end of the proximal leg portion 202a is connected to the backspan 202 and the other end of the proximal leg portion 202a is connected to one end of the distal leg portion 202b. The other end of the distal leg portion 202b includes a tapered tip 202c. The distal leg portion 202b is curved upwardly and rearwardly towards the backspan 202.

[0032] Each notch 196 of the spaced legs 188 has a wide mouth 206 which converges to a cylindrical slot 204 (FIG. 8) which is configured to receive the backspan 202 of a staple 186 in a snap-fit manner. With the backspan 202 of a staple 186 positioned in the cylindrical slot 204 of a notch 196, the proximal leg portions 202a of each curved leg of the staple 186 engages one of the dimples 198 associated with each notch 196 to stabilize the staple 186 on a respective leg 188 of the cartridge body 184. In this position, the backspan 202 extends transversely across the cartridge body 184 and a curved leg of each staple 186 is positioned on each side of the leg 188 of the cartridge body on which the staple 186 is supported. The distal leg portions 202b of each the staples 186 engage the proximal leg 202a of a distally positioned adjacent staple 186 to further stabilize the staple 186 on the cartridge body 184 and provide a guide surface for the staple 186 as the staple 186 is being fired as will be discussed in further detail below.

[0033] Referring to FIGS. 9-13, each of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b (FIG. 3) includes a resilient body that extends from the proximal body portion 110 to the tool assembly 114. A distal end of each cartridge channel 140a and 140b includes a U-shaped member 208 which receives a leg 188 of the cartridge body 184. Each of the U-shaped members 208 defines two openings (Fig. 13) including a proximal opening 210a and a distal opening 210b. The proximal opening 210a receives the post 172 (FIG. 3) of the pivot member 157 to secure the cartridge assembly 180 to the pivot member 157. The distal opening 210b receives a pin (not shown) which extends through the opening 210b and an opening 214 (FIG. 6) in the proximal end of each of legs 188 to secure the proximal end of the legs 188 of cartridge body 184 to the respective cartridge channels 140a and 140b. The distal end 191 of each U-shaped member 208 is received in adjacent recesses 192 formed on opposite sides of each leg 188 of cartridge body 184 and is defined by a pair of cutouts 191a and distally extending fingers 191b (Fig. 12). A bottom wall 193 (Fig. 13) of each cartridge channel 140a and 140b is w-shaped to provide channels to facilitate rotation of the staples 186 within the cartridge channels 140a and 140b.

[0034] Referring to FIGS. 14-16, the distal end 220 of each firing cam 138a and 138b defines a cam member 222. The cam member 222 has a wavy, curved shape. In certain embodiments, the cam member includes a portion for moving the staple into engagement with an anvil pocket and at least one portion for forming the staple into a closed configuration. In the embodiment shown, the cam member has a portion for partially forming the staple, and a portion for deforming the staple into its final configuration.

[0035] The cam member 222 has first and second cam surfaces 222a and 222b. Each cam member 222 is U-shaped and defines a channel 224 which receives a respective one of legs 188 (FIG. 6) of the cartridge body 184 such that each cam member 222 is slidable along the leg 188 of the cartridge body 184 into engagement with staples 186. Each of the cam surfaces 222a and 222b is curved and defines a first curved surface 226 and a second curved surface 228 which are interconnected by a plateau 230. The cam surfaces 222a and 222b increase in height from a distal end of each of the cam surface 222a and 222b towards a proximal end of the cam surfaces 222a and 222b. The first curved surface 226 is configured to initiate deformation of a leg 201 of a staple 186 and the second curved surface 228 is configured to complete deformation of the leg 201 of a staple and to disengage the leg from the cylindrical opening of a notch 196 of the cartridge body 184.

[0036] Referring also to FIGS. 17-20, when the cartridge channels 140a and 140b are positioned about the legs 188 of the cartridge body 184 and secured to the cartridge body 184, a space "s" (Fig. 33) is defined between sidewalls of the legs 188 and inner walls of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b. A cam surface 222a, 222b formed on the distal end 220 of each of the firing cams 138a and 138b is slidably supported in the space "s" defined between the legs 188 and the cartridge channels 140a and 140b. When the firing cams 138a and 138b are advanced distally from a retracted position to an advanced position, the cam surfaces 222a and 222b are moved between the legs 188 and the cartridge channels 140a and 140b into sequential contact with the staples 186 to urge the staples 186 from the cartridge body 184 into the staple forming depressions 182a (FIG. 22) of the anvil 182 as will be discussed in further detail below.

[0037] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 21-25, the anvil 182 defines an elongated slot 252 and on elongated cavity 254. The vertical strut 156 passes through the elongated slot 252 such that the upper beam 152 is slidably positioned in the elongated cavity 254 of the anvil 182. A proximal end of the anvil 182 defines a tapered cam surface 256 which is positioned in engagement with a distal end of the upper beam 152 of the working member 150 when the anvil 182 is pivoted to an open position as shown in FIG. 22. The lower beam 154 is positioned to move along the bottom surface of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b.

[0038] Referring briefly again to FIG. 3, the reload 100 includes a locking member 300 which is rotatably supported about a proximal end of the proximal body portion 110. The locking member 300 is movable from a first position (Fig. 25) in which the locking member 300 blocks distal advancement of the proximal drive member 118 to a second position in which the locking member does not block movement of the proximal drive member 118. U.S. Patent No. 7,143,924 describes the locking member 300 and its method of operation in detail and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[0039] Referring again to FIGS. 21-25, when the proximal drive member 118 (FIG. 25) is in a retracted position, the distal drive members 136a and 136b and the firing cam 138a and 138b are also in a retracted position. In the retracted position of the distal drive members 136a and 136b, the distal end of the upper beam 152 of the working member 150 is positioned in engagement with the tapered cam surface 256 of the anvil 182 to urge the anvil 182 to an open position spaced from the cartridge body 184 (FIG. 22). In the retracted position of the firing cams 138a and 138b, the cam surfaces 222a and 222b of each of the firing cams 138a and 138b is positioned proximally of the staples 186 (FIG. 24) such that a proximal end 259 (FIG. 18) of cam surface 222b of each firing cam 138a and 138b is in abutment with a shoulder 260 (FIG. 6) of a respective leg 188 of the cartridge body 184.

[0040] Referring to FIGS. 26-28, when the proximal drive member 118 is advanced by operation of the actuating device 12 (FIG. 1), the upper beam 152 of the working member 150 is moved over the tapered cam surface 256 (FIG. 27) of the anvil 182 to pivot the anvil 182 to an approximated position (FIG. 26).

[0041] Referring also to FIGS. 29-33, continued advancement of the proximal drive member 118 (FIG. 25), moves cam surfaces 222a and 222b (only 222b is shown in Figs. 29-33) of each of the firing cams 138a and 138b sequentially into contact with the staples 186. More particularly, when the firing cams 138a and 138b are advanced about legs 188 of cartridge body 184, the cam surfaces 222a and 222b sequentially engage the proximal leg portions 202a of the staples 186 to rotate or pivot the staples 186 about the backspan 202 within the cylindrical slot 208 of a respective notch 196. As the proximal leg portion 202a of each staple 186 moves along the first curved cam surface 226 of cam surfaces 222a and 222b, each staple 186 is pivoted or rotated upwardly such that the proximal leg portion 202a moves over a respective dimple 198 and the tapered tip 202c moves into a staple forming depression 182a of the anvil 182 to initiate deformation of the staple 186. When the proximal leg portion 202a of each staple 186 moves over the plateau 230 and along the second curved surface 228, the second curved surface 228 of the cam surface 222a and 222b fully deforms and disengages each staple 186 from the cylindrical slot 208 of a respective notch 196. As shown in Figs. 30 and 32, the proximal leg portion 202a of each staple 186 serves as a guide for an adjacent proximal staple 186 as the adjacent proximal staples 186 are cammed from the cartridge body 184. The distal-most staple 270 in each row of staples 186 is a dummy staple and is not fired from the cartridge body 184. The dummy staple 270 provides a guide surface for the adjacent proximal staple 186. Alternately, the dummy staple 270 may be replaced with guide grooves or dimples formed on the cartridge body 184.

[0042] Referring to FIGS. 34-38, the tool assembly 114 can be articulated by movement of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b in opposite directions in relation to each other. As discussed above, the cartridge channels 140a (FIG. 3) and 140b extend from the proximal body portion 110 through the elongated shaft portion 112 to the tool assembly 114. A distal end of each of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b is connected to the pivot member 157 by a respective post 172 (Fig. 3A) which extends through the proximal openings 210a of the cartridge channel 140a and 140b. The proximal ends of the cartridge channels 140a and 140b include cutouts 142a and 142b, respectively, which receive hook portions 120a and 122a of the articulation rods 120 and 122, respectively, to connect the articulation rods 120 and 122 to the cartridge channels 140a and 140b. The first and second articulation links 120 and 122 are slidably supported between the housing halves 116a and 116b of the proximal body portion 110. The first articulation link 120 has a distal end connected to the cartridge channel 140a and a proximal end connected to an articulation assembly 300 (FIG. 1) of the actuating device 12 (FIG. 1). The articulation member 123 includes a C-shaped body 302 having spaced fingers 304 and 306 and a central opening 308 (Fig. 35). The fingers 304 and 306 are received in cutouts 310 formed in the distal end of first and second articulation links 120 and 122. The central opening 308 receives a housing post 312 (FIG. 36) formed on housing half 116b of the central body portion 110 such that movement of the first articulation link 120 in one direction as indicated by arrow "A" in FIG. 37 causes the articulation member 123 to pivot about the housing post 312 to cause movement of the second articulation link 122 in a second direction as indicated by arrow "B" in FIG. 37.

[0043] In use, when the first articulation link 120 is moved by the articulation assembly 300 in direction A, the cartridge channel 140a, which is axially fixed to the first articulation link 120 by placement of hook portion 120a in cutout 142a (Fig. 3), is also moved in direction A. Movement of the first articulation link 120 in direction A effects pivotal movement of the articulation member 123 which causes movement of the second articulation link 122 in the direction of arrow B. Movement of the second articulation link 122 in direction of arrow B causes movement of cartridge channel 140b in the direction of arrow B. As discussed above, the distal ends of cartridge channels 140a and 140b are connected to opposite sides of the pivot member 157. As the cartridge channels 140a and 140b are moved in opposite directions, the pivot member 157 is pivoted about the pivot pin 170 to pivot the tool assembly 114 in relation to shaft portion 112 such that the longitudinal axis of the tool assembly 114 is offset from the longitudinal axis of the shaft portion 112. It is noted that the cartridge channels 140a and 140b, the firing cams 138a and 138b and the distal drive members 136a and 136b are all formed of a resilient material such as spring steel to facilitate movement about the axis of articulation to an articulated position.

[0044] Persons skilled in the art will understand that the devices and methods specifically described herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawings are non-limiting exemplary embodiments. It is envisioned that the elements and features illustrated or described in connection with one exemplary embodiment may be combined with the elements and features of another without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. As well, one skilled in the art will appreciate further features and advantages of the disclosure based on the above-described embodiments. Accordingly, the disclosure is not to be limited by what has been particularly shown and described, except as indicated by the appended claims.

[0045] The invention may be described by reference to the following numbered paragraphs:-
  1. 1. A surgical stapler comprising:

    a shaft portion

    a tool assembly supported on a distal end of the shaft portion, the tool assembly including an anvil and a cartridge assembly, the cartridge assembly including a cartridge body having at least one leg defining a plurality of notches and a plurality of staples, each of the staples having a backspan and a pair of curved legs connected to the backspan, the backspan of each of the plurality of staples being rotatably supported within a respective notch of the plurality of notches; and

    at least one firing cam including a distal end defining a cam member, the cam member being movable within the tool assembly into sequential engagement with each of the plurality of staples, wherein engagement between the cam member and a staple of the plurality of staples effects rotational movement of the staple to fire the staple from the cartridge body.

  2. 2. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 1, wherein each notch of the plurality of notches includes a cylindrical slot, the backspan of each of the plurality of staples being positioned within the cylindrical slot in a snap-fit manner.
  3. 3. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 2, wherein the cam member of the at least one firing cam includes a first cam surface and a second cam surface, the first cam surface being positioned to engage one curved leg of the pair of curved legs of each of the plurality of staples and the second cam surface being positioned to engage the other curved leg of the pair of curved legs of each of the plurality of staples.
  4. 4. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 5, wherein the at least one leg of the cartridge body includes two spaced legs, the plurality of notches being spaced axially along each of the two spaced legs, each of the plurality of notches rotatably supporting one staple of the plurality of staples.
  5. 5. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 4, further including first and second cartridge channels, each of the first and second cartridge channels having a distal end defining a U-shaped member, the two spaced legs of the cartridge body being secured within the U-shaped members.
  6. 6. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 5, wherein the at least one firing cam includes first and second firing cams, each of the cam members of the first and second firing cams having a U-shape and being positioned about one of the two spaced legs of the cartridge body and within the U-shaped member of one of the first and second cartridge channels.
  7. 7. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 6, further including a pivot member pivotably secured to the distal end of the shaft portion and fixedly secured to each of the first and second cartridge channels.
  8. 8. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 7, further including a first articulation link having a distal end secured to a proximal end of the first cartridge channel and a second articulation link secured to a proximal end of the second cartridge channel, the first and second articulation links being axially movable to effect axial movement of the first and second cartridge channels in relation to each other to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion.
  9. 9. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 8, further including a pivotable articulation member interconnecting the first articulation link to the second articulation link such that movement of the first articulation link in one direction effects movement of the second articulation link in an opposite direction.
  10. 10. A surgical stapler according to paragraph 1, wherein each of the pair of curved legs of the plurality of staples is U-shaped and includes a proximal leg portion connected to the backspan and a distal leg portion having a tapered tip.
  11. 11. A surgical stapler according to paragraph 10, wherein the at least one leg of the cartridge body include a plurality of dimples, each of the dimples being positioned to engage the proximal leg portion of one of the plurality of staples to stabilize the plurality of staples on the cartridge body.
  12. 12. A surgical stapler according to paragraph 11, wherein the plurality of staples are supported along the cartridge body such that the proximal leg portion of each staple of the plurality of staples is positioned to guide the distal leg portion of a proximally positioned adjacent staple of the plurality of staples as the proximally positioned adjacent staple is fired from the cartridge body.
  13. 13. A surgical stapler according to paragraph 12, wherein the distal-most staple of the plurality of staples is a dummy staple which is positioned to guide an adjacent proximal staple during firing but is not fired.
  14. 14. A surgical stapler comprising:

    a shaft portion having a proximal end and a distal end;

    first and second cartridge channels extending through the shaft portion, each of the first and second cartridge channels having a distal end defining a U-shaped member;

    a pivot member pivotably coupled to the distal end of the shaft portion, the pivot member being fixedly coupled to the first cartridge channel by a first post and fixedly coupled to the second cartridge channel by a second post; and

    a tool assembly including an anvil and a cartridge assembly, the cartridge assembly including a cartridge body and a plurality of staples, the cartridge body having a first leg supported in the U-shaped member of the first cartridge channel and a second leg supported in the U-shaped member of the second cartridge channel;

    wherein the first and second cartridge channels are movable axially in opposite directions to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion and effect articulation of the tool assembly.

  15. 15. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 14, further including a first articulation link having a distal end secured to a proximal end of the first cartridge channel and a second articulation link secured to a proximal end of the second cartridge channel, the first and second articulation links being axially movable to effect axial movement of the first and second cartridge channels in relation to each other to pivot the pivot member in relation to the shaft portion.
  16. 16. The surgical stapler according to paragraph 15, further including a pivotal articulation member interconnecting the first articulation link to the second articulation link such that movement of the first articulation link in one direction effects movement of the second articulation link in an opposite direction.



Claims

1. A surgical stapler (10) comprising:

a shaft portion having a proximal end and a distal end;

first and second cartridge channels (140a, 140b) extending through the shaft portion, each of the first and second cartridge channels having a distal end defining a U-shaped member (208);

a pivot member (157) pivotably coupled to the distal end of the shaft portion, the pivot member being fixedly coupled to the first cartridge channel (140a) by a first post (172) and fixedly coupled to the second cartridge channel (140b) by a second post (172); and

a tool assembly (114) including an anvil (182) and a cartridge assembly (180), the cartridge assembly including a cartridge body (184) and a plurality of staples (186), the cartridge body having a first leg (188) supported in the U-shaped member of the first cartridge channel and a second leg (188) supported in the U-shaped member of the second cartridge channel;

wherein the first and second cartridge channels are movable axially in opposite directions to pivot the pivot member (157) in relation to the shaft portion and effect articulation of the tool assembly.


 
2. The surgical stapler according to claim 1, further including a first articulation link (120) having a distal end secured to a proximal end of the first cartridge channel (140a) and a second articulation link (122) secured to a proximal end of the second cartridge channel (140b), the first and second articulation links being axially movable to effect axial movement of the first and second cartridge channels in relation to each other to pivot the pivot member (157) in relation to the shaft portion.
 
3. The surgical stapler according to claim 2, further including a pivotal articulation member (123) interconnecting the first articulation link (120) to the second articulation link (122) such that movement of the first articulation link in one direction effects movement of the second articulation link in an opposite direction.
 
4. The surgical stapler according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the plurality of staples (186) are generally U-shaped, have a backspan and two legs, and are rotatably supported within a notch (196) within the cartridge body.
 
5. The surgical stapler according to claim 4 wherein the two legs of each of the plurality of staples are curved.
 
6. The surgical stapler according to claim 5 further comprising a firing cam (138) having a first cam surface (222a) and a second cam surface (222b).
 
7. The surgical stapler according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the first and second cartridge channels (140a, 140b) includes a resilient body.
 
8. The surgical stapler according to claim 7 wherein the cartridge body (184) has two legs and each cartridge channel (140a, 140b) has a U-shaped member that receives a leg of the cartridge body.
 
9. The surgical stapler according to any one of the preceding claims wherein a bottom wall (193) of each cartridge channel (140a, 140b) is w-shaped to facilitate rotation of the staples within the cartridge channels.
 
10. The surgical stapler according to claim 6 wherein the firing cam has a cam member (222) with a wavy, curved shape.
 
11. The surgical stapler according to 1 wherein the cartridge body has two legs and each cartridge channel U-shaped member (208) receives a leg (188) of the cartridge body (184), each cartridge body defining notches for rotatably supporting one of the plurality of staples.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description