06149620 is referenced by 411 patents and cites 148 patents.

Systems and methods are provided for applying a high frequency voltage in the presence of an electrically conductive fluid to create a relatively low-temperature plasma for ablation of tissue adjacent to, or in contact with, the plasma. In one embodiment, an electrosurgical probe or catheter is positioned adjacent the target site so that one or more active electrode(s) are brought into contact with, or close proximity to, a target tissue in the presence of electrically conductive fluid. High frequency voltage is then applied between the electrode terminal(s) and one or more return electrode(s) to generate a plasma adjacent to the active electrode(s), and to volumetrically remove or ablate at least a portion of the target tissue. The high frequency voltage generates electric fields around the active electrode(s) with sufficient energy to ionize the conductive fluid adjacent to the active electrode(s). Within the ionized gas or plasma, free electrons are accelerated, and electron-atoms collisions liberate more electrons, and the process cascades until the plasma contains sufficient energy to break apart the tissue molecules, causing molecular dissociation and ablation of the target tissue.

Title
System and methods for electrosurgical tissue treatment in the presence of electrically conductive fluid
Application Number
561958
Publication Number
6149620
Application Date
February 12, 1999
Publication Date
November 21, 2000
Inventor
Philip E Eggers
Dublin
OH, US
Hira V Thapliyal
Los Altos
CA, US
Ronald A Underwood
Belmont
CA, US
Jean Woloszko
San Diego
CA, US
Stephen M Brunell
Mountain View
CA, US
Michael A Baker
Woodside
CA, US
Agent
John T Raffle
Assignee
ArthroCare Corporation
CA, US
IPC
A61B 17/36
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