Neurosurgical patties are textile pads used during most neurosurgical operations to protect tissues, manage the fluid environment, control hemostasis, and aid tissue manipulation. Recent research has suggested that, contrary to their aim, patties adhere to brain tissue and cause damage during removal. This study aimed to characterize and quantify the degree of and consequences resulting from adhesion between neurosurgical patties and brain tissue.
Using a customized peel apparatus, the authors performed 90° peel tests on 5 patty products: Policot, Telfa, Americot, Delicot, and Ray-Cot (n = 247) from American Surgical Company. They tested 4 conditions: wet patty on glass (control), wet patty on wet brain peeled at 5 mm/sec (wet), dry patty on wet brain peeled at 5 mm/sec (dry), and wet patty on wet brain peeled at 20 mm/sec (speed). The interaction between patty and tissue was analyzed using peel-force traces and pre-peel histological analysis.
Adhesion strength differed between patty products (p < 0.001) and conditions (p < 0.001). Adhesion strength was greatest for Delicot patties under wet (2.22 mN/mm) and dry (9.88 mN/mm) conditions. For all patties, damage at the patty-tissue interface was proportional to the degree of fiber contact. When patties were irrigated, mechanical adhesion was reduced by up to 550% compared with dry usage.
For all patty products, mechanical (destructive) and liquid-mediated (nondestructive) adhesion caused damage to neural tissue. The greatest adhesion occurred with Delicot patties. To mitigate patty adhesion and neural tissue damage, surgeons should consider regular irrigation to be essential during neurosurgical procedures.