OBJECTIVE: To develop a standardized in vitro tissue model for microdebrider comparison, and determine which microdebrider, tissue type, blade type, and suction strength is most efficient. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective randomized comparison of the Diego Powered Dissector and XPS 3000 Powered ENT System was conducted using a soft-tissue and a firm-tissue model. In addition to evaluating tissue aspiration with straight and angled blades, clogging rates and clearance times were measured. Both standard wall suction and liposuction were used. Basic statistical analysis and a one-way analysis of variance using confidence intervals were performed to compare outcomes. RESULTS: The aspiration of soft tissue was statistically superior to and demonstrated less clogging compared to the aspiration of firm tissue. For the "head-to-head" comparison, the XPS 3000 was statistically superior for aspirating soft tissue. When liposuction was excluded, the devices were essentially equivalent. Several notable trends that were not statistically significant were also observed. The aspiration efficiency of straight blades appeared to be superior compared to angled blades. The XPS 3000 and liposuction independently seemed to aspirate more tissue than the Diego Powered Dissector and regular suction, but at the expense of increased clogging. Finally, the Diego Powered Dissector showed a trend toward aspirating more firm tissue. CONCLUSION: Our tissue model represents a reliable and reproducible means of microdebrider comparison. A secondary analysis with a larger sample size is warranted to further validate the tissue model, to improve the power of the statistically significant results, and to better delineate the trends that were observed in the current study.
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