(19)
(11)EP 3 643 252 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 19204523.5

(22)Date of filing:  22.10.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61B 17/072(2006.01)
A61B 17/064(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 23.10.2018 US 201862749417 P
13.09.2019 US 201916569736

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

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

(74)Representative: Birtle, Zoë Elizabeth 
Maschio & Soames IP Limited 30 Carlton Crescent
Southampton SO15 2EW
Southampton SO15 2EW (GB)

  


(54)SURGICAL STAPLING DEVICE WITH FLOATING STAPLE CARTRIDGE


(57) A cartridge assembly includes a cartridge channel, a support plate, a staple cartridge supported within the support plate and the cartridge channel, and compression members. The compression members are supported on support flanges of the support plate between the staple cartridge and the cartridge channel to facilitate movement of the staple cartridge in relation to the cartridge channel to accommodate tissue of different thicknesses.


Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS



[0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/749,417 filed October 23, 2018, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND


1. Technical Description



[0002] The present disclosure is directed to a surgical stapling device and, more particularly, to a surgical stapling device including a tool assembly having a staple cartridge that is supported on a compressible base to accommodate tissues of different thicknesses.

2. Background of Related Art



[0003] Surgical stapling devices for ejecting staples to join tissue or tissue segments in a fast and efficient manner in a variety of surgical procedures, e.g., anastomoses procedures, are well known. Surgical stapling devices include a tool assembly having a cartridge assembly and an anvil assembly. The cartridge assembly and the anvil assembly define tissue contact surfaces that define a tissue gap when the tool assembly is in a clamped position. The tissue gap is dimensioned to receive tissue of a given thickness range to effect hemostasis. If the tissue positioned between the jaws is outside the defined range, either too thick or too thin, the tissue contact surfaces of the cartridge and anvil assemblies may not be properly positioned during firing of the stapling device to provide effective hemostasis. In addition, if the tissue thickness is misidentified by the clinician or if the tissue thickness falls near the outer edges of the range for a given staple size, the likelihood of ineffective hemostasis is increased.

[0004] Accordingly, a continuing need exists in the suturing arts for a surgical stapling device that is capable of providing effective hemostasis for a greater range of tissue thicknesses.

SUMMARY



[0005] One aspect of the disclosure is directed to a cartridge assembly including a cartridge channel, a staple cartridge, and compression members. The cartridge channel has a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess. Each of the side walls has a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall. The second end of each of the side walls defines a support surface. The staple cartridge defines a longitudinal axis and includes an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls. The upper wall extends radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder. The staple cartridge is dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel. The compression members are supported on each of the support surfaces of the cartridge channel. Each of the compression members is positioned between one of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and one of the support surfaces of the side walls of the cartridge channel and includes a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.

[0006] In embodiments, a support plate is secured to the staple cartridge.

[0007] In some embodiments, the support plate includes a bottom wall, and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge, wherein each of the first and second side walls of the support plate have a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange.

[0008] In certain embodiments, the support flanges are supported on the support surface of the cartridge channel.

[0009] In embodiments, the support flanges include a base wall and a side wall, wherein the base wall rests atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of the compression flange extends upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.

[0010] In some embodiments, each of the compression members is formed from an elastic material.

[0011] In certain embodiments, the staple cartridge includes staples and pushers and defines an open end opposite the upper wall, wherein the support plate is supported on the open end of the staple cartridge to retain the staples and pushers within the staple cartridge.

[0012] Another aspect of the disclosure is directed to a cartridge assembly including a cartridge channel, a staple cartridge, a support plate, and compression members. The cartridge channel includes a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess. Each of the side walls has a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall. The second end of each of the side walls defines a support surface. The staple cartridge defines a longitudinal axis and includes an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls. The upper wall extends radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder. The staple cartridge is dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel. The staple cartridge includes staples and pushers and defines an open end opposite the upper wall. The support plate is supported on the open end of the staple cartridge and has a bottom wall and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel that is dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge. The support plate is received within the recess of the cartridge channel. Each of the first and second side walls of the support plate have a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange that is supported on the support surfaces of the cartridge channel. The compression members are positioned between each of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and the support flanges of the support plate and are formed from an elastic material.

[0013] In embodiments, each of the compression members includes a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.

[0014] In some embodiments, each of the support flanges includes a base wall and a side wall, wherein the base wall rests atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of the compression flange extends upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.

[0015] In certain embodiments, the compression members include at least one leaf spring secured to the support flange of the support plate.

[0016] In embodiments, the at least one leaf spring includes a plurality of leaf springs positioned along a length of the support plate.

[0017] In some embodiments, each of the leaf springs defines a longitudinal axis that is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the staple cartridge.

[0018] In certain embodiments, the leaf springs are secured to the support flanges of the support plate by welding.

[0019] In embodiments, each of the leaf springs is integrally formed with one of the support flanges of the support plate.

[0020] In some embodiments, the leaf springs have a C-shaped transverse cross-section and a base portion that defines the support flanges.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0021] Various embodiments of the presently disclosed tool assembly are described herein below with reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a surgical stapling device including an exemplary embodiment of the presently disclosed tool assembly in a clamped position;

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

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the tool assembly of FIG. 1 in an unclamped position with an anvil assembly of the tool assembly shown in phantom;

FIG. 3 is a side, perspective, exploded view of a cartridge assembly of the tool assembly shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 3A-3A;

FIG. 4 is a side perspective view of the channel member of the cartridge assembly shown in FIG. 3 with compression strips attached to side walls of the channel member;

FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of the channel member of the cartridge assembly shown in FIG. 4 with the compression strips and a compression pad supported on the channel member;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 8 as the compression strip is attached to the side wall of the channel member;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 10-10 of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 11-11 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 11-11 of FIG. 10 with the tool assembly clamped on relatively thin tissue;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a staple of the cartridge assembly of FIG. 12 after the staple is deformed in thin tissue;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 11-11 of FIG. 10 with the tool assembly clamped on tissue having a relatively moderate thickness;

FIG. 15 is a side view of a staple of the cartridge assembly of FIG. 14 after the staple is deformed in the tissue having a relatively moderate thickness;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 11-11 of FIG. 10 with the tool assembly clamped on relatively thick tissue;

FIG. 17 is a side view of a staple of the cartridge assembly of FIG. 16 after the staple is deformed in the relatively thick tissue;

FIG. 18 is a side perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the tool assembly of FIG. 1 in a clamped position;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a side, perspective, exploded view of a cartridge assembly of the tool assembly shown in FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a side perspective view of a staple cartridge support plate and compression strips of the cartridge assembly shown in FIG. 20;

FIG. 23 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 24-24 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view taken through an alternate embodiment of the presently disclosed tool assembly including a cartridge assembly having a staple cartridge with universal staples;

FIG. 26 is a side perspective view of a universal staple of the staple cartridge shown in FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 is a side perspective view of the an alternate embodiment of a staple cartridge support plate and compression strips of the cartridge assembly shown in FIG. 20; and

FIG. 28 is a side perspective view of another alternate embodiment of a staple cartridge support plate and compression strips of the cartridge assembly shown in FIG. 20.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



[0022] The presently disclosed surgical stapling device including a tool assembly with a floating staple cartridge will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings in which 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 that portion of the device that is closer to a clinician, while the term "distal" is used generally to refer to that portion of the device that is farther from the clinician. In addition, the term "endoscopic" is used generally used to refer to endoscopic, laparoscopic, arthroscopic, and/or any other procedure conducted through small diameter incision or cannula. In addition, the term clinician is used generally to refer to medical personnel including doctors, nurses, and support personnel.

[0023] The presently disclosed surgical stapling device includes a tool assembly having an anvil assembly and a cartridge assembly including a cartridge channel and a staple cartridge supported within the cartridge channel. The cartridge assembly includes a cartridge channel having a pair of spaced sidewalls and a bottom wall. The cartridge assembly includes compression strips that are supported on upper edges of the side walls of the cartridge channel and are positioned to support the staple cartridge. In embodiments, each of the compression strips includes a connecting portion and the upper edge of each of the side walls defines a slot that is configured to receive the connecting portion of a respective compression strip to secure the compression strips to the side walls of the cartridge channel. The compression strips allow the staple cartridge to move or float in relation to the anvil assembly of the tool assembly to accommodate tissues of different thicknesses.

[0024] In some embodiments, the tool assembly also includes a compressible pad that is supported on the bottom wall of the channel. The staple cartridge is supported on the compressible pad within the cartridge channel such that the staple cartridge can move or float within the cartridge channel.

[0025] FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the presently disclosed surgical stapling device shown generally as 10. The stapling device 10 includes a handle assembly 12, a body portion 14 that defines a longitudinal axis "X" and extends from a distal portion of the handle assembly 12, and a tool assembly 100 supported on a distal portion of the body portion 14. In embodiments, the handle assembly 12 includes a stationary hand grip 16, a firing trigger 18, a rotation knob 20, and an articulation lever 22. The firing trigger 18 is actuable to move the tool assembly 100 between an unclamped position (FIG. 2) and a clamped position (FIG. 1A) and to fire the stapling device 10. The articulation lever 22 is rotatable to pivot the tool assembly 100 in relation to the body portion 14 about an axis transverse to the longitudinal axis "X". The rotation knob 20 pivotally supports the body portion 14 and the tool assembly 100 on the distal portion of the handle assembly 12. Rotation of the rotation knob 20 in relation to the handle assembly 12 causes corresponding rotation of the body portion 14 and tool assembly 100 in relation to the handle assembly 12.

[0026] For a detailed description of a handle assembly 12 including the firing trigger 18, rotation knob 20, and articulation lever 22, and other components of the stapling device 10 including the body portion 14, see U.S. Patent No. 8,418,904 ("the '904 Patent") which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Although the presently disclosed tool assembly 100 is illustrated as part of a manually powered surgical stapling device 10, it is also envisioned that the tool assembly 100 could be incorporated into a powered surgical stapling device such as disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 9,055,943 and 8,806,973 and U.S. Publication No. 2015/0076206 which are also incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

[0027] Referring to FIGS. 1A and 2, the tool assembly 100 includes an anvil assembly 102 and a cartridge assembly 104. A proximal portion of the anvil assembly 102 is pivotally coupled to a proximal portion of the cartridge assembly 104 by a pair of pivot members 105 such that the anvil assembly 102 is pivotal in relation to the cartridge assembly 104 to move the tool assembly 100 between an unclamped position (FIG. 2) and a clamped position (FIG. 1A). It is envisioned that the cartridge assembly could also be pivotally supported to the anvil assembly 102. Although not shown, the anvil assembly 102 includes a tissue contact surface that includes a plurality of staple deforming depressions. See, e.g., the anvil assembly disclosed in the '904 Patent.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 3, in some embodiments the cartridge assembly 104 includes a staple cartridge 106 that supports a plurality of staples 108 and a plurality of pushers 110, a cartridge channel 112, a staple cartridge support plate 114, compression strips 116, compression pads 118, and an actuation sled 120. It is envisioned that the cartridge assembly 104 may include only compression strips 116 or compression pads 118 as discussed in further detail below. The staple cartridge 106 includes a tissue contact surface 124 (FIG. 3) that defines a central knife slot 106a, and a plurality of rows of laterally spaced staple retention slots 124a in the tissue contact surface 124. In embodiments, the tissue contact surface 124 is stepped downwardly from the central knife slot 106a towards the outer edge of the staple cartridge 106. Alternately, the tissue contact surface 124 of the staple cartridge 106 can be planar. Each staple retention slot 124a receives one of the staples 108 and a drive member 110a of a respective pusher 110.

[0029] The support plate 114 of the cartridge assembly 104 is secured to an open, lower end of the staple cartridge 106 opposite to the tissue contact surface 124 by a snap-fit or other type connection. The support plate 114 covers the open lower end of the staple cartridge 106 to retain the staples 108 and pushers 110 within the staple cartridge 106. The staple cartridge 106 also defines a plurality of longitudinal slots 130 (FIG. 11). The longitudinal slots 130 communicate with the open, lower end of the staple cartridge 106 and the staple retention slots 124a to accommodate the staple pushers 110 and facilitate passage of the actuation sled 120 through the staple cartridge 106. As known in the art, advancement of the actuation sled 120 through the staple cartridge 106 lifts the pushers 110 within the retention slots 124a to eject the staples 108 from the retention slots 124a. See, e.g., the '904 Patent for a detailed description of the operation, and interaction of the actuation sled 120 and pushers 110.

[0030] The staple cartridge 106 includes opposite sidewalls 132 and an upper wall 134 that defines the tissue contact surface 124 and the staple retention slots 124a. The upper wall 134 extends radially outward of the side walls 132 to define shoulders 136 (FIG. 3A). The staple cartridge 106 also includes protrusions 140 (FIG. 3) that extend radially outwardly of each of the side walls 132 of the staple cartridge 106 and facilitate securement of the staple cartridge 106 within the cartridge channel 112.

[0031] Referring also to FIGS. 4 and 5, the cartridge channel 112 includes a bottom wall 144 and spaced side walls 146 that together define a recess 148 that is dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge 106 and support plate 114 when the staple cartridge 106 and the support plate 114 are assembled. The bottom wall 144 defines a central longitudinal knife slot 150 that is aligned with the central knife slot 106a defined in the staple cartridge 106 as well as a longitudinal knife slot 152 defined by the support plate 114. The knife slots 106a, 150 and 152 are dimensioned to facilitate passage of a drive member and knife (not shown) through the staple cartridge 106. See, e.g., the '904 Patent for a detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of a drive member and knife of a surgical stapling device.

[0032] Referring also to FIGS. 3 and 6-9, the compression strips 116 are formed of a compressible and/or elastic material such as such as elastomeric polymers. Elastic polymers include natural or synthetic rubbers, polyurethane, polyisoprene, polybutadiene, chloroprene, polyisobutylene, combinations thereof, or copolymers thereof. Each of the compression strips 116 includes a support portion 156 and a connecting portion 158. In embodiments, the support portion 156 of each of the compression strips 116 defines a flat surface 156a that is positioned and configured to support the shoulders 136 of the staple cartridge 106 (FIG. 3A).

[0033] In embodiments, the spaced side walls 146 of the cartridge channel 112 each define a retention slot 160 (FIG. 8) that is configured to receive a connecting portion 158 of the compression strips 116. In embodiments, the retention slots 160 and the connecting portions 158 of the compression strips 116 have interlocking configurations which mate to securely fasten the compression strips 116 within the retention slots 160. In some embodiments, the retention slots 160 and the connecting portion of the compression strips 116 each include have a dove-tail configuration although other interlocking configurations are envisioned, e.g., T-shaped slots, etc. The connecting portion 158 of the compression strips 116 are slidably received within the retention slots 160 to secure the compression strips 116 to the upper edges of the side walls 146 of the cartridge channel 112. In addition, adhesives, welding, friction fitting, or the like can be used to secure the compression strips from moving axially within the slots 160.

[0034] Referring briefly back to FIGS. 4 and 5, the side walls 146 of the cartridge channel 112 each include a plurality of notches 170. The notches 170 provide access to ends of the retention slots 160 at a plurality of locations along the side walls 146 of the cartridge channel 112 to allow the connecting portions 158 of the compression strips 116 to be inserted into the retention slots 160 at multiple locations along the side walls 146.

[0035] Referring again to FIGS. 3 to 5, 10 and 11, in embodiments, the compression pads 118 are supported on the bottom wall 144 of the cartridge channel 112 between the bottom wall 144 and the support plate 114 of the cartridge assembly 104 (FIG. 11) on opposite sides of the knife slot 150. As discussed above in regard to the compression strips 116, the compression pads 118 are formed of an elastic and/or compressible material and support the staple cartridge 106 to facilitate movement of the staple cartridge 106 in relation to the anvil assembly 102 during clamping and firing of the surgical stapling device 10. In embodiments, the compression pads 118 include cut outs 118a that provide space for expansion of the compression pad 118 during firing. Although shown as being circular, the cut outs 118a can be of any configuration.

[0036] Referring to FIGS. 10-13, when thin tissue T1 is clamped between the tissue contact surface 124 of the staple cartridge 106 and the tissue contact surface 102a of the anvil assembly 102 and the surgical stapling device 10 is fired, the forces applied to the compression strips 116 and the compression pads 118 is minimal such that the compressible strips 116 and pads 118 undergo minimal deformation or compression. As such, very little movement of the staple cartridge 106 in relation to the anvil assembly 102 occurs. Thus, the staple cartridge 106 remains in close relation to the anvil assembly 102 and the staple 108a (FIG. 13) undergoes substantial deformation.

[0037] Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, when thicker tissue T2 is clamped between the tissue contact surface 124 of the staple cartridge 106 and the tissue contact surface 102a of the anvil assembly 102 and the surgical stapling device 10 is fired, the forces applied to the compression strips 116 and the compression pads 118 increases such that the compressible strips 116 and compression pads 118 undergo more substantial deformation or compression. As such, the staple cartridge 106 moves further downwardly away from the anvil assembly 102 to compensate for the thicker tissue T2. Thus, the staple cartridge 106 becomes spaced further from the anvil assembly 102 and the staple 108b undergoes more substantial deformation.

[0038] Referring to FIGS. 16 and 17, when even thicker tissue T3 is clamped between the tissue contact surface 124 of the staple cartridge 106 and the tissue contact surface 102a of the anvil assembly 102 and the surgical stapling device 10 is fired, the forces applied to the compression strips 116 and the compression pads 118 increases even further such that the compressible strips 116 and pads 118 undergo even more substantial deformation or compression. As such, the staple cartridge 106 moves further downwardly away from the anvil assembly 102 to compensate for the thicker tissue T3. Thus, the staple cartridge 106 becomes spaced even further from the anvil assembly 102 and the staple 108b undergoes even more substantial deformation.

[0039] Although the surgical stapling device 10 is illustrated to include both compression strips 116 and compression pads 118, it is envisioned that the surgical stapling device need only include the strips 116 or the pads 118.

[0040] FIGS. 18-25 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the presently disclosed tool assembly of the stapling device 10 shown generally as 200. Referring to FIG. 18, the tool assembly 200 is similar to the tool assembly 100 (FIG. 1A) and, thus, only the differences will be described in detail in this specification. The tool assembly 200 includes an anvil assembly 202 and a cartridge assembly 204. A proximal portion of the anvil assembly 202 is pivotally coupled to a proximal portion of the cartridge assembly 204 by pivot members 205 (only one pivot member is shown) such that the anvil assembly 202 is pivotal in relation to the cartridge assembly 204 to move the tool assembly 200 between an unclamped position (FIG. 18) and a clamped position (FIG. 24).

[0041] Referring also to FIGS. 19 and 20, the cartridge assembly 204 includes a staple cartridge 206 that supports a plurality of staples 208 (FIG. 24) and a plurality of pushers 210 (FIG. 24), a cartridge channel 212, a staple cartridge support plate 214, compression members such as compression strips 216, and an actuation sled (not shown). The staple cartridge 206 includes a tissue contact surface 224 that defines a central knife slot 206a and a plurality of rows of laterally spaced staple retention slots 224a. In embodiments, the tissue contact surface 224 is stepped downwardly from the central knife slot 206a towards the outer edge of the staple cartridge 206 (FIG. 24). Alternately, the tissue contact surface 224 of the staple cartridge 206 can be planar. Each staple retention slot 224a receives one of the staples 208 (FIG. 24) and a drive member 210a of a respective pusher 210.

[0042] Referring to FIGS. 20-23, the support plate 214 of the cartridge assembly 204 is secured to an open, lower end of the staple cartridge 206 opposite to the tissue contact surface 224 by a snap-fit or other type connection. The support plate 214 covers the open lower end of the staple cartridge 206 to retain the staples 208 (FIG. 24) and pushers 210 (FIG. 24) within the staple cartridge 206. In embodiments, the support plate 214 defines a substantially U-shaped channel 214a that receives the staple cartridge 206 and includes a bottom wall 250, and spaced side walls 252. The end of each of the side walls 252 opposite the bottom wall 250 includes a compression strip support flange 254. The support flanges 254 include a base 254a and a side wall 254b. The compression strips 216 are supported on the base 254a of a respective one of the support flanges 254 such that the side wall 254b of each support flange 254 is positioned alongside the compression strip 216.

[0043] The staple cartridge 206 also defines a plurality of longitudinal slots 230 (FIG. 24). The longitudinal slots 230 communicate with the open, lower end of the staple cartridge 206 and the staple retention slots 224a to accommodate drive members 210a of the staple pushers 210 and allow passage of the actuation sled (not shown) through the staple cartridge 206. As known in the art, advancement of the actuation sled through the staple cartridge 206 lifts the pushers 210 within the retention slots 224a to eject the staples 208 from the retention slots 224a. See, e.g., the '904 Patent for a detailed description of the operation, and interaction of the actuation sled 220 and pushers 210.

[0044] Referring also to FIG. 24, the staple cartridge 206 includes opposite sidewalls 232 and an upper wall 234 that defines the tissue contact surface 224 and the staple retention slots 224a. The upper wall 234 extends radially outward of the side walls 232 to define shoulders 236 (FIG. 24). The side walls 232 of the staple cartridge 206 include protrusions 240 and 241 that extend radially outwardly of each of the side walls 232. The protrusions 240 are received within cutouts 243 (FIG. 20) defined in the cartridge channel 212 to align the staple cartridge 206 within the cartridge channel 212. The protrusions 241 are received within openings 245 (FIG. 20) defined within the support plate 214 to secure the staple cartridge 206 within the support plate 214.

[0045] The cartridge channel 212 includes a bottom wall 244 and spaced side walls 246 that together define a recess 248 that is dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge 206 and support plate 214 when the staple cartridge 206 and the support plate 214 are assembled. The bottom wall 244 defines a central longitudinal knife slot 255 that is aligned with the central knife slot 206a defined in the staple cartridge 206 as well as a longitudinal knife slot 256 defined in the support plate 214. The knife slots 206a, 255 and 256 are dimensioned to facilitate passage of a drive member 300 (FIG. 24) that supports a knife 302 through the staple cartridge 206. See, e.g., the '904 Patent for a detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of a drive member and knife of a surgical stapling device.

[0046] In embodiments, the spaced side walls 246 of the cartridge channel 212 have a first end positioned adjacent the bottom wall 244 and a second end that defines a support surface 260 (FIG. 20) that is configured to support the base 254a of the support flanges 254 of the support plate 214. In embodiments, the support surfaces 260 of the cartridge channel 212 are bounded by a raised longitudinal rail 262 that extends along at least a portion of the length of the support surfaces 260.

[0047] In some embodiments, the compression strips 216 have a body 270 that has an elongated upper portion 272 and a lower portion defined by a plurality of alternating fingers 274 and grooves 276. The elongated upper portion 272 includes an upper surface 272a that is configured to support the shoulders 236 of the staple cartridge 206 (FIG. 24). The lower portion of the body 270 of the compression strips 216 including the alternating fingers 274 is supported on the base 254a of the support flange 254 of the support plate 214. The provision of alternating grooves 276 improves the compressibility of the compression strips 216.

[0048] As discussed above in regard to the compression strips 116 (FIG. 3), the compression strips 216 are formed of a compressible and/or elastic material such as an elastomeric polymer. Suitable elastic polymers include natural or synthetic rubbers, polyurethanes, polyisoprenes, polybutadienes, chloroprenes, polyisobutylenes, combinations thereof, or copolymers thereof.

[0049] Referring to FIG. 24, when the tool assembly 200 is assembled, the staple cartridge 206 is supported within the U-shaped channel 214a of the support plate 214 with the compression strip 216 clamped between the base 254a of the support flange 254 of the support plate 214 and the shoulders 236 of the staple cartridge 206.

[0050] The compression strips 216 function in a substantially similar manner to the compression strips 116 (FIG. 12) described above. More specifically, when tissue is clamped between the tissue contact surface 224 of the staple cartridge 206 and the tissue contact surface 202a of the anvil assembly 202 and the surgical stapling device 10 is fired, the forces applied to the compression strips 216 undergo deformation or compression. As discussed above, the amount of deformation will depend upon the thickness of the tissue being treated.

[0051] Referring to FIGS. 25 and 26, the cartridge assembly 204 may include staple cartridges 206 having a variety of sizes that may include a variety of different staple types and sizes. For example, as described above, the staple cartridge 206 may include a tissue contact surface 224 that is stepped downwardly from the central knife slot 206a towards the outer edge of the staple cartridge 206. Alternately, the tissue contact surface 224 of the staple cartridge 206 can be planar. In embodiments, the inner row and outer rows of staples 208 may vary in size to vary the degree of tissue compression applied to tissue outwardly of the central knife slot 206a as is known in the art. In addition, the staples 208 may include universal staples 208 that have a backspan 208a that has a thickness that is variable based in part on the thickness of the tissue being compressed to accommodate tissues of different thicknesses.

[0052] Referring to FIG. 27, an alternate embodiment of support plate of the cartridge assembly 204 is shown as support plate 314. The support plate 314 includes compression members in the form of leaf springs 316. In embodiments, the leaf springs 316 are supported on a base 354a of support flanges 354 of the staple cartridge support plate 314. In certain embodiments, the leaf springs 316 (FIG. 27) define a longitudinal axis that is parallel to the longitudinal axis "X" of the staple cartridge support plate 314 and are secured to the support flanges 354 by welding. Alternately, other fastening techniques can be used to secure the leaf springs 316 to the staple cartridge support plate 314.

[0053] Referring to FIG. 28, in another embodiment of the presently disclosed support plate shown generally as support plate 414, leaf springs 416 are formed integrally with the support plate 414 and are spaced longitudinally along spaced side walls 446 of the support plate 414. In embodiments, the leaf springs 416 have a substantially C-shaped transverse cross-section with a lower end that defines the support flange 454.

[0054] In the embodiments of the support plates 314 and 414, the shoulders 236 (FIG. 24) of the staple cartridge 206 rest atop the leaf springs 316 and 416. When tissue is compressed between the anvil assembly 102, 202, the leaf springs 316 and 416 function a manner similar to the compression members 116 described above. As such, no further description will be described herein.

[0055] 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.

[0056] The invention is described by the following numbered paragraphs: -
  1. 1. A cartridge assembly comprising:

    a cartridge channel including a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess, each of the side walls having a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall, the second end of each of the side walls defining a support surface;

    a staple cartridge defining a longitudinal axis and including an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls, the upper wall extending radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder, the staple cartridge being dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel; and

    a compression member supported on each of the support surfaces of the cartridge channel, each of the compression members being positioned between one of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and one of the support surfaces of the side walls of the cartridge channel, each of the compression members including a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.
  2. 2. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 1, further including a support plate secured to the staple cartridge.
  3. 3. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 2, wherein the support plate includes a bottom wall, and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge, each of the first and second side walls of the support plate having a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange.
  4. 4. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 3, wherein the support flanges are supported on the support surface of the cartridge channel.
  5. 5. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 4, wherein the support flanges include a base wall and a side wall, the base wall resting atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of the compression flange extending upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.
  6. 6. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 1, wherein each of the compression members is formed from an elastic material.
  7. 7. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 2, wherein the staple cartridge includes staples and pushers and defines an open end opposite the upper wall, the support plate being supported on the open end of the staple cartridge to retain the staples and pushers within the staple cartridge.
  8. 8. A cartridge assembly comprising:

    a cartridge channel including a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess, each of the side walls having a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall, the second end of each of the side walls defining a support surface;

    a staple cartridge defining a longitudinal axis and including an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls, the upper wall extending radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder, the staple cartridge being dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel, the staple cartridge including staples and pushers and defining an open end opposite the upper wall;

    a support plate supported on the open end of the staple cartridge, the support plate having a bottom wall and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel that is dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge and be received within the recess of the cartridge channel, each of the first and second side walls of the support plate having a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange, the support flanges being supported on the support surfaces of the cartridge channel;

    a compression member positioned between each of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and the support flanges of the support plate, each of the compression members being formed from an elastic material.

  9. 9. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 8, wherein each of the compression members includes a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.
  10. 10. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 9, wherein each of the support flanges includes a base wall and a side wall, the base wall resting atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of each of the compression flanges extending upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.
  11. 11. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 8, wherein the compression members include at least one leaf spring secured to the support flange of the support plate.
  12. 12. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 11, wherein the at least one leaf spring includes a plurality of leaf springs positioned along a length of the support plate.
  13. 13. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 9, wherein each of the leaf springs defines a longitudinal axis that is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the staple cartridge.
  14. 14. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 12, wherein the leaf springs are secured to the support flanges of the support plate by welding.
  15. 15. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 9, wherein each of the leaf springs is integrally formed with one of the support flanges of the support plate.
  16. 16. The cartridge assembly of paragraph 15, wherein the leaf springs have a C-shaped transverse cross-section and a base portion that defines the support flanges.



Claims

1. A cartridge assembly comprising:

a cartridge channel including a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess, each of the side walls having a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall, the second end of each of the side walls defining a support surface;

a staple cartridge defining a longitudinal axis and including an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls, the upper wall extending radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder, the staple cartridge being dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel; and

a compression member supported on each of the support surfaces of the cartridge channel, each of the compression members being positioned between one of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and one of the support surfaces of the side walls of the cartridge channel, each of the compression members including a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.
 
2. The cartridge assembly of claim 1, further including a support plate secured to the staple cartridge.
 
3. The cartridge assembly of claim 2, wherein the support plate includes a bottom wall, and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge, each of the first and second side walls of the support plate having a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange.
 
4. The cartridge assembly of claim 3, wherein the support flanges are supported on the support surface of the cartridge channel.
 
5. The cartridge assembly of claim 4, wherein the support flanges include a base wall and a side wall, the base wall resting atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of the compression flange extending upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.
 
6. The cartridge assembly of any preceding claim, wherein each of the compression members is formed from an elastic material.
 
7. The cartridge assembly of claim 2, wherein the staple cartridge includes staples and pushers and defines an open end opposite the upper wall, the support plate being supported on the open end of the staple cartridge to retain the staples and pushers within the staple cartridge.
 
8. A cartridge assembly comprising:

a cartridge channel including a bottom wall and side walls defining a recess, each of the side walls having a first end secured to the bottom wall and a second end spaced from the bottom wall, the second end of each of the side walls defining a support surface;

a staple cartridge defining a longitudinal axis and including an upper wall defining a tissue contact surface and side walls, the upper wall extending radially outward of the side walls of the staple cartridge to define a longitudinally extending shoulder, the staple cartridge being dimensioned to be received within the recess of the cartridge channel such that the shoulders rest atop the support surface of the side walls of the cartridge channel, the staple cartridge including staples and pushers and defining an open end opposite the upper wall;

a support plate supported on the open end of the staple cartridge, the support plate having a bottom wall and first and second side walls that define a U-shaped channel that is dimensioned to receive the staple cartridge and be received within the recess of the cartridge channel, each of the first and second side walls of the support plate having a first end connected to the bottom wall of the support plate and a second end having a support flange, the support flanges being supported on the support surfaces of the cartridge channel;

a compression member positioned between each of the shoulders of the staple cartridge and the support flanges of the support plate, each of the compression members being formed from an elastic material.


 
9. The cartridge assembly of claim 8, wherein each of the compression members includes a body having an elongated upper portion positioned to engage the shoulders of the staple cartridge and a lower portion defined by a plurality of spaced fingers and grooves.
 
10. The cartridge assembly of claim 9, wherein each of the support flanges includes a base wall and a side wall, the base wall resting atop the support surface of the cartridge channel and the side wall of each of the compression flanges extending upwardly from the base wall along an outer surface of a respective one of the compression members.
 
11. The cartridge assembly of any of claims 8 to 10, wherein the compression members include at least one leaf spring secured to the support flange of the support plate.
 
12. The cartridge assembly of claim 11, wherein the at least one leaf spring includes a plurality of leaf springs positioned along a length of the support plate.
 
13. The cartridge assembly of any of claims 9 to 12, wherein each of the leaf springs defines a longitudinal axis that is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the staple cartridge.
 
14. The cartridge assembly of claim12 or claim 13, wherein the leaf springs are secured to the support flanges of the support plate by welding.
 
15. The cartridge assembly of claims 9 to 13, wherein each of the leaf springs is integrally formed with one of the support flanges of the support plate; preferably wherein the leaf springs have a C-shaped transverse cross-section and a base portion that defines the support flanges.
 




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Cited references

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