Ultrasound-operated handpieces are used more and more frequently in medicine, e.g. for open or minimally invasive surgical procedures. Instruments such as ultrasonic scalpels, phaco handpieces and scalers use acoustic waves to facilitate the processing of hard or soft tissue. Ultrasound supports the mechanical processing by additional shocks or cavitation. Depending on the selected working frequency, tissue can be processed faster and also selectively, so that e.g. blood vessels in the vicinity are spared.
When working on soft tissue, such as muscles, the targeted generation of ultrasound waves allows the blades of surgical instruments to oscillate in a defined and precise manner at very high frequencies. Targeted heat generated by friction between the tissue and the surgical instrument leads to rapid cutting of tissue with simultaneous coagulation. This prevents heavy bleeding and promotes haemostasis, causing less trauma to the surrounding tissue and enabling an accelerated healing process as well as faster patient recovery. Further fields of application are breaking up hard concrements such as tartar or kidney stones with the help of cavitation and the power of acoustic waves or liquefying and aspirating tissue structures in a targeted and minimally invasive way, e.g. in cataract operations (phacoemulsification) or for wound cleansing.