Just by chance I happened to see a TV advert for a revolutionary new home kitchen tool, the Sonic Blade. It cuts through layers of a sandwich without smooshing everything in the process. The 30 seconds I saw hooked me. The images were compelling. The blade cuts so finely and crisply that your sandwich looks like it has been cut with surgical precision.
Immediately I thought, "Ah ha!" that sonic blade is a mass marketed version of the precision surgical instrument my surgeon used to remove my endo. It looked like it vibrated quickly and that is what made it slice through the sandwich with minimal damage.
So, remembering that my surgeon said he used a "harmonic scalpel" that vibrates, I googled it and found that the "ultrasonic" blade he used vibrates 55,500 times per second.
Here's how it works.
Having read the blurb about the ultrasonic harmonic scalpel used on me, I can say I am impressed and fortunate that he used this tool instead of a laser. Lasers burn the endo away and cauterize at much higher temperatures. That creates more tissue damage, kind of like what happens when you use an ordinary kitchen knife to cut through a sandwich - you end up with seriously torn up insides.
Unfortunately, lasers are foisted off on many women who have surgery for endometriosis and aren't lucky enough to get sent to a surgeon who uses such fancy equipment. I recall reading somewhere, I forget exactly where, that lasers are actually more expensive than scalpels. That makes intuitive sense. I wonder about cost of the harmonic vibrating scalpel.
I couldn't easily find out how much the harmonic scalpel costs, but I bet it is be pretty pricey given its Lilliputian proportion. It's only 5mm in diameter.
The knock-off As Seen On TV version costs $100, and if you buy now, you get one for free, reducing the per item cost to $50. That's so cheap I wonder if the quality matches. In any case, I am certainly glad my surgeon didn't use such a crude instrument on me! The Sonic Blade only vibrates a few hundred times per MINUTE, allegedly. Here's how it works.