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1. EP0863726 - FLUID-ASSISTED ELECTROCAUTERY DEVICE

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Claims

1. A fluid-assisted electrocautery instrument, comprising a tube (16) having a proximal and a distal end, at least a portion of the distal end of the tube being electrically conductive, the tube having a lumen (26) at least in the portion of the tube proximal to the distal end of the tube, the lumen being connectable to a source of fluid under pressure (32, 34) and means for expelling the fluid from the distal end of the tube (16); characterised by an electrically conductive ball (18) enclosed within the tube at the distal end of the tube, the ball (18) extending distally beyond the distal end of the tube.
  2. A fluid-assisted electrocautery instrument, comprising a tube (16) having a proximal and a distal end, at least a portion of the distal end of the tube being electrically conductive, the tube having a lumen (26) at least in the portion of the tube proximal to the distal end of the tube, the lumen being connectable to a source of fluid under pressure (32, 34) and means for expelling the fluid from the distal end of the tube (16); characterised by an electrically conductive plug enclosed within the tube at the distal end of the tube, the plug extending distally beyond the distal end of the tube.
  3. An instrument according to claim 1 or 2 comprising a handle (12) made of sterilizable material.
  4. An instrument according to claim 1, 2 or 3 comprising a handle (12) made of a rigid material.
  5. An instrument according to any preceding claim comprising a handle (12) made of a non-conductive material.
  6. An instrument according to any preceding claim in which the tube (16) is a hollow cylindrical tube.
  7. An instrument according to any preceding claim in which the tube (16) is a rigid shaft constructed of metal.
  8. An instrument according to any of claims 1 to 6 in which the tube (16) is a rigid shaft constructed of an insulative material.
  9. An instrument according to any preceding claim comprising means for delivering electrically conductive fluid from a lumen.
  10. An instrument according to any preceding claim in which the fluid comprises cooled electrically conductive fluid.
  11. An instrument according to any preceding claim comprising means for delivering a dyed, electrically conductive fluid from a lumen.
  12. An instrument according to claim 11 in which the dyed electrically conductive comprises a mixture of saline solution and a dye which is visible to a naked eye.
  13. An instrument according to claim 12 in which the dye is methylene blue.
  14. An instrument according to claim 1 or any claim dependent thereon, wherein said conductive ball (18) is made of porous material.
  15. An instrument according to claim 2 or any claim dependent thereon, wherein said conductive plug is made of porous material.