APPARATUS FOR RETRACTING TISSUE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to medical devices.
More particularly, this invention relates to medical devices used during surgical procedures.
In a further and more specific aspect, the instant invention relates to a retractor for use in combination with surgical procedures for holding back the edges of an incision.
2. Prior Art
Surgery is normally defined as that branch of medicine concerned with diseases and conditions requiring or amenable to operative or manual procedures. When performing a surgical procedure to repair or remedy a disease or damaged portion of the body, it is normally necessary to conduct the surgery through an incision formed through outlying tissues of the body in order to gain access to internal portions of the body requiring surgical treatment. Accordingly, it is sometimes necessary to retract or hold back the edges of an incision, organs, or other tissues, in order to facilitate access to an affected region requiring surgical treatment. This task is normally carried out with a retractor.
Retractors are provided in many shapes and sizes. Typical retractors are scalp retractors, thyroid retractors, perineal retractors, mastoid retractors, and other varieties. Known retractors typically incorporate hinged arms having one or more prongs or blades formed proximate outer ends thereof. The blades or prongs engage tissues which can then be spread apart by urging the arms outwardly thereby spreading apart the tissues. Although exemplary, the blades or prongs of these prior art retractors are located only at the outer ends of the arms. As a result, only a small portion of tissue can be retracted at any one given time. Furthermore, the retraction of the edges of a long or extensive incision normally requires the use of a plurality of retractors. Additionally, the prongs and the blades of known retractors can. and normally do. occasion damage to bodily tissues which is undesirable.
It would be highly advantageous, therefore, to remedy the foregoing and other deficiencies inherent in the prior art.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved retractor.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a retractor that is easy to use.
And another object of the present invention is to provide a retractor that is inexpensive to manufacture.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a retractor for providing a greater degree of tissue retraction.
Yet another object of the instant invention is to provide a retractor that will not occasion damage to bodily tissues.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Briefly, to achieve the desired objects of the instant invention in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, provided is a retractor for holding back the edges of an incision. The retractor is comprised of a first retractor portion and a second retractor portion. In a first embodiment the first retractor portion includes a first retractor arm having an inner end. an inner edge and a substantially irregular outer edge. The second retractor portion includes a second retractor arm disposed parallel to and spaced from the first retractor arm. and includes an inner end. an inner edge and a substantially irregular outer edge. The first retractor arm
and the second retractor arm are coupled in pivotal relation proximate the inner ends thereof for pivotal movement between a contracted position and an expanded position. An expansion assembly, coupled to the first retractor arm and
5 the second retractor arm. is operative for facilitating the movement of the first retractor arm and the second retractor arm between the contracted position and the expanded position. The retractor is sized for receipt within an incision, with the substantially irregular outer edges of the first
10 retractor arm and the second retractor arm being operative for engaging substantially the entire length of the edges of the incision thereby facilitating a high degree of tissue retraction when the first and second retractor arms are moved into the expanded position. In an alternate
15 embodiment, the first and second retractor arms may be removably coupled to the expansion assembly.
In an alternate embodiment, the first and second retractor portions may include a first pair of retractor arms and a second pair of retractor arms coupled together in spaced
20 apart and substantially parallel and pivotal relation. The first pair of retractor arms and the second pair of retractor arms are coupled to an expansion assembly for moving the respective pairs of arms between a collapsed position and an expanded position, and each include a substantially irregular
25 outer edge formed substantially along the entire length of each of the individual pairs of arms. This retractor may be placed deep within an incision with the substantially irregular outer edges of the respective pairs of arms being operative engaging substantially the entire length of the edges of
30 the incision, and the tissues beneath the incision, thereby facilitating a high degree of tissue retraction.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
35 The foregoing and further and more specific objects and advantages of the instant invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
40 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a retractor constructed in accordance with the preferred embodiment, the retractor having a pair of retractor arms coupled to an expansion assembly, each retractor arm having an outer engagement edge;
45 FIG. 2 is a top view of the retractor of FIG. 1 shown as it would appear spreading apart the edges of an incision;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a retractor having two pairs of retractor arms; and
FIG. 4 is a partially exploded perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a retractor having a pair of retractor arms removably coupled to an expansion assembly.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
Turning now to the drawings, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 which illustrates a first embodiment of the instant invention com
60 prising a retractor being generally designated by the reference character 10. Retractor 10 includes a first retractor portion or arm 11 and a second retractor portion or arm 12 each having an inner end. 13 and 14. respectively, pivotally coupled to the outer ends. 15 and 16, of a base 17 for
65 inwardly and outwardly lateral pivotal movement. First and second retractor arms. 11 and 12. are both generally elongate and each include a substantially irregular outer edge. 20 and