The Aesthetic Guide is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

New surgical marker keeps surgeons sane in the O.R.

Article-New surgical marker keeps surgeons sane in the O.R.

Sponsored by Viscot Medical

In the operative field, surgeons frequently need to mark patients before and sometimes during surgery on surfaces that are moist or covered with blood, fat and other fluids. The tips of most standard markers will usually stop writing on wet surfaces because they get clogged with fluids, which halts the flow of ink. 

Viscot Medical (East Hanover, N.J.) has created the Visflow® Pressurized Surgical Skin Marker to eliminate this problem. The product’s flexible barrel enables continuous writing on wet tissue. 

“This marker solves the frustrations that I’ve encountered with other markers, namely that they gum up with any kind of body fluid or preps,” stated Stephen B. Lober, MD, a plastic surgeon in Athens, Ga. “You take a sterile marker to make a mark, and then when you go to use it again it won’t work because the tip is coated, so you have to go get another one and then another one.”

With the Visflow Pressurized Surgical Skin Marker, however, ink continues to flow for repeated marking via a vent hole on the side of the pen’s barrel. By covering the vent hole and gently squeezing the barrel, ink is pushed into the tip, thus allowing the surgeon to continue without having to use multiple markers. 

“By squeezing the marker, you push out that layer or barrier of oil or whatever it is that is gumming up the tip. You can keep reloading the tip,” Dr. Lober expressed. “It is a great way of marking intraoperative surgical fields, especially in abdominoplasty. In surgical training, during an abdominoplasty procedure, for instance, instead of having to use multiple sterile  markers, people would instead use methylene blue with a Q-tip® application, which is not a precise method.”

Other approaches include using colored permanent markers in a sterile pouch made from draping sheets. “After training, most surgeons would continue with one of  these approaches. However, these arecumbersome. When I left training and started my practice, I found out the cost for methylene blue and I started reeling,” Dr. Lober recalled.

According to Dr. Lober, each small vial of methylene blue cost him around $35 or $40. “Those costs add up quickly. Therefore, when a physician starts working in their own operating room, they will soon realize how much they are spending on methylene blue. I did not feel good about throwing my money away.”

Dr. Lober concluded, “The Visflow Pressurized Surgical Skin Marker is a nice solution to an annoying problem. Using it is a lot more cost-effective than sterile methylene blue, which is  meant for injection and not for marking. The Viscot squeeze marker makes the whole marking process during surgery so much easier. The true utility of this device is that you can keep reusing it, so that definitely saves me money and time.”

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.