Background and study aims: Endoscopic intracorporeal knots have potentially enormous applications in endoscopic surgery. We describe a method for testing the security of various types of endoscopically tied knots using a vessel perfusion manometer system. Methods: A 4-cm segment of porcine splenic artery was placed on the mucosal surface of a pig stomach. The two ends of the vessel were brought out through the gastric wall and connected to a two-way manometer. One end was also joined to a pressure infusion bag. The stomach was mounted in an Erlangen training model. A long 3/0 nylon thread, previously introduced into the submucosal layer of the stomach and encircling the vessel, was brought out from the mouth. Three-throw square knots, Mayo knots, "surgeon's" knots and five-throw square knots were tied and pushed into place using a cap attached to a gastroscope. The pressure at the two ends of the artery was compared. If the pressure could be increased to over 200 mm Hg at one end without a change in the other, the knot was considered secure. Results: Each type of knot was tested 12 times under endoscopic vision. The range for mean knotting time was 3.4-4.5 minutes. Five-throw knots took significantly longer to tie than three-throw knots (P < 0.005). There was one loose knot in each of the three-throw and Mayo groups, and three each in the "surgeon's" and five-throw groups (P > 0.05). Conclusions: This system is a reliable model for testing intracorporeal knots tied endoscopically. A three-half-hitches square knot with 3/0 nylon, tied using a flexible endoscope and knot-tightening cap, can withstand pressure up to 200 mm Hg.
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