Patient Safety

RADEL® Insulation on Clear Flush®  Laparoscopic Instruments

RADEL® helps reduce the risk of patient burns and surgical infections caused by the failure of conventional ‘shrink-tube’ (e.g., nylon, kynar) insulation used on most brands of laparoscopic instruments. RADEL’s resistance to shrinkage, its high impact strength, its lightweight and its excellent insulating properties make it the product of choice for A.I.M. Clear Flush® laparoscopic instruments.

During the A.I.M. Clear Flush® manufacturing process RADEL® is custom cut to the length of each individual instrument, threaded at the distal end and then bonded to the laparoscopic instrument. When conventional insulation shrinks and pulls back from the distal end of an instrument, bioburden can collect under the damaged insulation and become the source of a dangerous infection.

Conventional vs. Radel "shrink-tube" laparoscopic instrument insulation

In the photo above in the top left side, you can see the thickness of conventional ‘shrink-tube’ laparoscopic instrument insulation (it is less 1/10th of a millimeter). Next to the conventional ‘shrink-tube’ insulation, you can see the thickness of the Radel insulation that we use on every AIM Clear Flush laparoscopic instrument.

According to its manufacturer, RADEL® is:

1. An excellent material to use with electro-surgical instruments due to its exceptional insulating properties. The failure of conventional insulation on laparoscopic instruments is the number one cause of painful, dangerous and costly patient burns incurred during a laparoscopic procedure.

2. Able to withstand the stress and high temperatures of repeated cycles in a steam autoclave with no loss of dimensional stability. Conventional insulations can shrink and pull back from the distal end of the instrument after repeated steam sterilization cycles, greatly increasing the risk of a patient burn or infection.

3. A high temperature, lightweight, polyphenylsulfone material with outstanding impact resistance. Over time, conventional insulation can become brittle, crack and break from routine use and reprocessing, which can significantly increase the probability of a patient burn and/or a surgical infection.

4. Highly resistant to hydrolysis when exposed to hot water or steam. Hydrolysis is the chemical reaction that can cause a breakdown of the polymers used in conventional insulations, resulting in ‘pinholes’ in the insulation. These pinholes increase the potential of a dangerous surgical infection or serious patient burn.

Additional Properties of RADEL®:
• High strength up to 410°F
• Resists common acids, bases and enzymatic washing solutions
• FDA- and NSF-compliant.


*RADEL® is a registered trademark of the Union Carbide Corporation, NY, NY