Patents Examined by David M. Ruddy
  • Patent number: 6451013
    Abstract: A method of tonsil reduction by thermal ablation using high intensity focused ultrasound energy includes the steps of introducing an ultrasound emitting member in a patient's oral cavity, positioning the ultrasound emitting member adjacent an external surface of one of the patient's tonsils, emitting ultrasound energy from the ultrasound emitting member into the tissue of the one tonsil, focusing the ultrasound energy in the one tonsil, ablating the tissue of the one tonsil with the focused ultrasound energy to form an ablated tissue area in the one tonsil containing unablated tissue of the one tonsil and a plurality of lesions at which the tissue of the one tonsil is ablated, and withdrawing the ultrasound emitting member from the oral cavity. The ablated tissue area is surgically removed or is allowed to remain in the patient's body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Medtronic Xomed, Inc.
    Inventors: F. Barry Bays, James B. Hissong
  • Patent number: 6445941
    Abstract: A novel method and apparatus for obtaining the electrocardiogram (ECG) in small conscious animals, such as mice, without the need to anesthetize or instrument the animal, are described. The apparatus includes an array of conductive pads, embedded in a platform, the pads sized and spaced to advance contact between an animal's paws and the pads as the animal freely moves upon the platform. Electrical circuitry to the pads is configured to sense the parings of pads and paws that render an interpretable ECG signal and to activate or deactivate recording of the signals. The apparatus is suspended above a surface to minimize the range of motion of the animal without physical restraint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventors: Thomas G. Hampton, Jose M. Otero
  • Patent number: 6440126
    Abstract: A cryocatheter system includes a first handle portion having a proximal end, a distal end, a first fluid flow path, and a second fluid flow path; a second handle portion having a proximal end, a distal end, a first fluid flow path, and a second fluid flow path; and a catheter having a proximal end, a distal end, a first fluid flow path, and a second fluid flow path. The distal end of the first handle portion is matable with the proximal end of the second handle portion to place the respective first and second fluid flow paths of each handle portion in fluid communication; and the distal end of the second handle portion is matable with the proximal end of the catheter to place the respective first and second fluid flow paths of the second handle portion and the catheter in fluid communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: CryoCath Technologies
    Inventors: Marwan Abboud, Domenic Santoianni, Philippe Marchand
  • Patent number: 6436096
    Abstract: An electrosurgical apparatus supplies high-frequency power from a high-frequency power supply unit to an instrument placed in association with an organic tissue to dissect or coagulate the organic tissue. An impedance calculating section calculates the impedance value of the organic tissue. A rate-of-impedance-change calculating section calculates the rate of impedance change of the organic tissue based on the impedance value calculated by the impedance calculating section. A control section controls the high-frequency output of the high-frequency power supply unit based on a predetermined condition provided by combining the impedance value calculated by the impedance calculating section with the rate of impedance change calculated by the rate-of-impedance-change calculating section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Norihiko Hareyama
  • Patent number: 6431173
    Abstract: A method for treating arrhythmias which includes the steps of detecting an arrhythmia, and, in response to detection of the arrhythmia, delivering electrical energy to a targeted part of myocardial tissue in such a manner as to create a transient conduction block in the targeted part of the myocardial tissue without causing permanent damage to the targeted part of the myocardial tissue. The electrical energy can be continuous or pulsed RF, or continuous or pulsed DC. The detected arrhythmia can be atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular fibrillation, or other type of arrhythmia. The targeted part of the myocardial tissue constitutes a critical part of the reentrant pathway or reentrant circuit required to sustain the detected arrhythmia. The electrical energy is preferably delivered via a catheter-based electrode which is in direct contact with the targeted part of the myocardial tissue, for either a prescribed period of time or until the arrhythmia is no longer detected (i.e., is terminated).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Pacesetter, Inc.
    Inventor: Drew A. Hoffmann
  • Patent number: 6428538
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the thermal treatment of tissue, e.g., prostatic tissue, with RF energy is disclosed. The apparatus includes a handle dimensioned to be grasped with a single hand of a surgeon, an elongated portion extending distally from the handle and defining a longitudinal axis, at least one electrode extending within the elongated portion and movable between a non-deployed position and a fully deployed position, and a trigger mechanism associated with the handle and having a trigger operatively connected to the one electrode. The trigger is movable to selectively and incrementally move the one electrode between the non-deployed position and the fully deployed position. A ratchet mechanism permits movement of the trigger in one direction corresponding to movement of the one electrode toward the fully deployed position while preventing movement of the trigger in a second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: United States Surgical Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey J. Blewett, Christopher W. Maurer
  • Patent number: 6428535
    Abstract: A medical apparatus comprising an apparatus body and a terminal instrument which operates when receiving a terminal output which is an electric or electromagnetic output. The terminal instrument is provided with an installed cell of predetermined capacity and the apparatus body is provided with a circuit for measuring the electromotive force (emf) of the installed cell while discharging the emf via a predetermined resistance as the terminal instrument is used. A comparator compares the emf with a standard voltage and the output command is blocked from the primary control section when the emf of the installed cell is below the standard voltage. Moreover, an alarm is generated when the emf of the installed cell is below the standard voltage level during the use of the terminal instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Azwell Inc.
    Inventors: Koichi Wakikaido, Suminori Kitada
  • Patent number: 6423059
    Abstract: A radio frequency ablation apparatus having an application wand which is articulating and self-locking in a selected configuration. The wand has a handle having a thumb wheel apparatus. A threaded bore extends coaxially through the thumb wheel. A threaded tube received in the threaded bore translates a wire which extends to the distal end of the wand. At the distal end of the wand, the wire passes over a bendable section in the wand. Pushing or pulling the wire bends the distal tip through a range of angles on both sides of a neutral linear position. The distal tip remains self-locked in a selected position when the thumb screw is not turned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: Sulzer Medica USA Inc.
    Inventors: David A. Hanson, Raed N. Rizq, Jodi L. Balik, Samira Tahvildari, Mandar G. Sukhatankar, William K. Durfee, Arthur G. Erdman
  • Patent number: 6423056
    Abstract: A method of tumor ablation using injectable thermal-sensing balls. A catheter system (115) is used to inject a slurry (134) of thermal-sensing balls (136) into a tumor (122) located in, for example, a liver (120). The catheter system (115) comprises a catheter (128) and a specialized syringe (129) consisting of a housing (130) and a plunger (132). The housing (130) includes a cylindrical chamber having the slurry (134) of thermal-sensing balls (136). The catheter (128) is inserted retrograde into the femoral artery and passed to the site of the tumor (122). The hepatic artery (124) branches into smaller vessels, one of which is a tumor artery (126) which feeds the tumor (122). The tip of the catheter (128) is placed in the tumor artery (126) guided by conventional fluoroscopy. The injected balls (136) then receive energy from an external control system (110). The system (110) comprises a control panel (114) as an operator interface for controlling the system (110) and reading data therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: Ball Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Akira Ishikawa, Nabuo Takeda, Suzanne I. Ahn, Samuel S. Ahn, Steven R. Hays, F. Andrew Gaffney
  • Patent number: 6416513
    Abstract: A configurable electrode instrument for use in loop electrical excision procedures for removal of damaged tissue by allowing for a peeling of the epithelium of the ectocervix rather than a deep stromal excision. The instrument has an elongate main body member with an endocervical portion contiguous to, integrally connected to and extending therefrom. A contact portion extends from the elongate main body member for operative engagement with an electro-surgical device. The endocervical portion has a laterally oriented stop arm contiguous to the elongate main body member and a longitudinal member extending from the stop arm and elongate main body member. The stop arm limits the depth of insertion of the endocervical portion into an endocervix. The stop arm is hingedly connected to the elongate main body member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Inventor: Scott Dresden
  • Patent number: 6413255
    Abstract: An apparatus to treat the skin includes a template having a tissue interface surface and an energy delivery device coupled to the template. The energy delivery device is configured to be coupled to a power source and has a variable resistance portion. A sensor is coupled to one of the template, the energy delivery device, the tissue interface surface or a power source coupled to the energy delivery device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Thermage, Inc.
    Inventor: Roger A. Stern
  • Patent number: 6413254
    Abstract: A method of tongue reduction by thermal ablation using high intensity focused ultrasound includes the steps of introducing an ultrasound emitting member in a patient's oral cavity, positioning the ultrasound emitting member adjacent an external surface of the tongue, emitting ultrasound energy from the ultrasound emitting member into tissue of the tongue, focusing the ultrasound energy within the tongue at a focusing zone contained in a target area disposed beneath the external surface, heating the tissue with the focused ultrasound energy such that the tissue at the target area is heated to an ablative temperature to form a lesion and withdrawing the ultrasound emitting member from the oral cavity. The lesion is allowed to be absorbed by the patient's body and/or to remain as altered tissue such that the tongue is reduced in size to correspondingly increase the size of the patient's airway and/or is stiffened to resist vibration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Medtronic Xomed, Inc.
    Inventors: James B. Hissong, Fred B. Dinger
  • Patent number: 6415168
    Abstract: An electrical connector for multi-contact medical electrodes with plural-contact tails, including a first elongate member having a first face and an array of electrical conductors, preferably spring-loaded ball plungers, positioned therealong and a second elongate member extending along the first elongate member and having a tail-receiving void, a second face parallel to the void with access openings to expose the plural tail contacts, the second elongate member being pivotable, between open and closed positions with respect to the first elongate member. Pivoting is about an axis along the lengths of the elongate members. The closed position serves to place the plural contacts of a tail into engagement with the electrical conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Ad-Tech Medical Instrument Corporation
    Inventor: David A. Putz
  • Patent number: 6413253
    Abstract: A method and system of delivering energy to material in which energy is converted to thermal energy in the material, and prior to significant therapeutic or other physiological change in a selected or target region of the material, results in a temperature rise which is maximum in a selected region of the material but which is insufficient to cause significant therapeutic or other physiological effect, the system for selective preheating of subsurface target regions of material such as human tissue including an energy source to preheat the material or tissue, a passive or active cooling means, and a device for delivering therapeutic or treatment energy, such as pulsed, electromagnetic, laser or non-coherent energy, to tissue during or after the preheating and cooling of the tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: CoolTouch Corporation
    Inventors: Dale E. Koop, David R. Hennings
  • Patent number: 6409720
    Abstract: A method of tongue reduction by thermal ablation using high intensity focused ultrasound includes the steps of introducing an ultrasound emitting member in a patient's oral cavity, positioning the ultrasound emitting member adjacent an external surface of the tongue, emitting ultrasound energy from the ultrasound emitting member into the tissue of the tongue, focusing the ultrasound energy in the tongue, ablating the tissue of the tongue with the focused ultrasound energy to form an ablated tissue area below the external surface of the tongue containing unablated tissue of the tongue and a plurality of lesions at which the tissue of the tongue is ablated, and withdrawing the ultrasound emitting member from the oral cavity. The lesions are allowed to be absorbed by the patient's body and/or to remain as altered tissue such that the tongue is reduced in size to correspondingly increase the size of the patient's airway and/or is stiffened to resist vibration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Medtronic Xomed, Inc.
    Inventors: James B. Hissong, Fred B. Dinger, III
  • Patent number: 6406475
    Abstract: A pivoting device the two electrically conductive arms (12, 14) of which are connected pivotably by a screwed joint (16) having a screw (46) and a nut (74). Surfaces (26, 28) of the arms (12, 14) which rest against one another, and also the pivoting device (16), are electrically insulated. The nut (74) has, at least in part, a noncircular, preferably elliptical, smooth circumferential surface (80). Holes (36, 38) in the two arms (12, 14) for accommodating the screwed joint (16) are designed in such a way that, in the assembled state, the screw (46) and the nut (74) are arranged in a recessed manner in the holes (36, 38). Electrically insulating material is provided at least in the region of the surface of the screw (46) and the nut (74) and/or the inner walls of both holes (36, 38) in the scissor arms (12, 14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Wenzler, Philip Eggers, Andrew Eggers
  • Patent number: 6405067
    Abstract: A catheter particularly suitable for bipolar mapping and ablating comprises an elongated flexible body having a distal region and at least one lumen extending therethrough. A tip electrode is mounted on the distal region. The tip electrode has an exposed distal region having an outer diameter, a recessed central region having an outer surface proximal to the exposed distal region, and a proximal region having an outer diameter and an outer surface proximal to the central region. The recessed central region has an outer diameter less than the outer diameters of the exposed distal region and the proximal region. The central region and the proximal region are provided with an electrically insulating and thermally conductive layer over at least a portion of their outer surfaces. A ring electrode is mounted on the recessed central region. The ring electrode has an outer diameter less than the outer diameters of the exposed distal region and the proximal region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Biosense Webster, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Mest, Hiroshi Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 6400975
    Abstract: A patient-specific electrode positioning apparatus and method allow EKG testing and delivery of therapeutic electrical impulses to the heart to be performed in an accurate and consistent manner by eliminating individual positioning of precordial electrodes for all but the first EKG test on a particular patient. Each electrode is slidably mounted on a platform aligned on the torso of the patient. Each electrode is adjusted until it is properly positioned and then it is permanently fixed in place by a lock-down mechanism, leaving the electrodes permanently positioned on the platform so that, when the platform is aligned properly on the particular patient's torso utilizing an adjustable position indicator, the electrodes will be properly positioned for a repeat administration of the EKG test and for delivery of therapeutic electrical impulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Inventor: Robin B. McFee
  • Patent number: 6383180
    Abstract: A coolant system for a cryoablation or treatment probe such as a mapping or ablation catheter, or a treatment wand, includes a compressor and condenser having a low pressure inlet side and a high pressure outlet side, wherein the outlet side passes through a heat exchanger and is cooled by the inlet side and conditioned for injection to a catheter inlet. A vacuum return system connectable to the catheter outlet draws thermally expended coolant from the catheter and returns it to the low pressure inlet side. A motorized pressure regulator between the heat exchanger and the catheter inlet determines the pressure of coolant passing into the catheter and thus regulates the cooling rate for a selected mapping or ablation regimen. The low pressure compressor inlet supply preferentially conditions the pressurized coolant to ambient temperature or lower before injection into the catheter, allowing the coolant to travel through the body at ambient before expansion in the tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: CryoCath Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Jean-Pierre Lalonde, Marwan Abboud
  • Patent number: 6385473
    Abstract: A physiological sensor device for attachment to a mammalian subject including first and second regions of sensors attachable to a subject in use, which first and second regions of sensors are separated by a flexible web adapted to enable variable separation of the first and second sensor regions from one another in use. The physiological sensor device is manufactured by forming a strip of electrically conductive material on a flexible electrically non-conductive substrate and cutting a slot through both the flexible substrate and conductive strip to define a pair of adjacent edges of conductive material separated by a non-conductive gap thereby also to define adjacent electrode sensors each having one of the pair of adjacent edges formed in the strip of conductive material. The physiological sensor device is attached to the subject for measurement of numerous physiological parameters for a period of time, such as 24 hours, and is then thrown away.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Nexan Limited
    Inventors: Paul D. Haines, Andrea J. Harry, Harpal S. Kumar, John D. Place, Susan B. Riley Earl, Neil J. Sheehan, David A. Sheraton