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Katsuyoshi Tabuse, MD, Editor in chief, Journal of Microwave Surgery, c/o Department of Surgery, National Hospital Organization Osaka Minami Medical Center, 2-1, Kidohigashi-machi, Kawachinagano City, Osaka, 586-8521, japan.



Katsuyoshi Tabuse,
M.D., PhD.,


A new concept of the scalpel refers to the applying of a certain type of physical energy to a body and the resulting destruction of tissue. It is not concerned with whether or not the instrument is sharp or dull. The expression gscalpelh is referred to in a broader sense of the word. The microwave scalpel, Microtaze, changes the focus from the pursuit of a sharp scalpel to the pursuit of a dull scalpel. This has resulted in the concept of a scalpel in the sense of destroying tissue and lesions. Devices such as electric scalpels, laser scalpels, ultrasonic scalpels and harmonic scalpels each destroy tissue by allowing a different form of physical energy to act on the body. In the past, this involved the pursuit of an apparatus that attempted to imitate steel-blade scalpels. Microtaze is a microwave tissue coagulation apparatus that functions as a scalpel designed for the purpose of coagulating and fixing tissue without being preoccupied with the pursuit of these incision functions. Microtaze achieves its so-called scalpel effects by enabling the tissue to effectively absorb microwaves generated by a monopolar antenna. The efficiency by which microwaves are radiated from the air into the body is extremely poor. However, by generating microwaves within the tissue, this efficiency is significantly improved. This is the major characteristic of ultra-short waves, i.e., microwaves. As is already well known, ultrasound diagnostic systems and thermotherapy apparatus operating at frequencies of 3.5 to 20 MHz and 8 MHz, former and latter, are able to easily cause energy to pass through the body. However, the most important issue confronting the systems of the future is the extent to which they can control energy within the body so as to enable more sophisticated treatment in the form of a scalpel. In essence, although considerable research has been conducted on the behavior of high-frequency electromagnetic waves in air in the field of physics, applications utilizing their interaction with the body have unfortunately yet to be developed. It appears that the discipline of physics is somewhat limited when it comes to studying the generation and receiving of electromagnetic waves in body tissue. This is perhaps the reason why it has been difficult for research on the effects on the body to make progress. However, the ability to measure and control magnetic fields in the body would most likely lead to greater progress in the field of surgery.
@Roughly 20 years have passed through the year 2000 since hemostatic, coagulation, and necrotic effects were successfully demonstrated in clinical applications for the natural destruction of liver cancer. This was a world first in 1981. The study was based on a seminal paper carried in the Arch. Jpn. Chir. in 1979 entitled, "A new operative procedure for hepatic surgery using a microwave tissue coagulator." Since that time, the author has been able to find and collect more than 1000 papers on associated subjects. Activities for proliferation were initiated through collaboration between medical engineering (ME) and a joint alliance of the industrial and academic sectors, and the Study Group of Microwave Surgery was founded in 1983. Over the following period of time the number of papers continued to increase, although after reaching a peak in 1988, then declined somewhat through 1993. In 1996, the Director's Award of the Japan Agency of Science and Technology was received for "Research on microwave surgical devices." Additionally in that same year, microwave coagulation treatment for liver tumors was certified as being applicable for coverage by national health insurance in Japan, since when more than 100 papers on the subject have been published each year. Although there has been a definite response from overseas, the entrance of this surgical device into foreign markets has been delayed. This delay has been due to restrictions resulting from safety standards in Europe and the U.S., including the CE marking of the EU and UL standards in the U.S. However, due in part to the more than 1000 papers that have been published, it is expected that the CE marking of the EU will be able to be acquired in 2001 without requiring clinical studies. In addition, due to the entrance of foreign-based firms, it is likely that certification will be able to be acquired in the near future in the US as well. Furthermore, although the appearance of radio frequency ablation (RFA) is creating a response in Japan, the author is convinced that it will serve as a friendly competitor that will lead to even greater progress in the field of microwave surgery. This will be necessary for microwave surgery to make the greater effort needed to obtain firm establishment as a technique in the surgery category.
@One of the defining reasons behind the decision to create this web site was the changes that are being brought about in various fields by the IT revolution of the 21st century. The basis for this involves the sharing of mutual intellectual technologies through the disclosure and transmission of information in this age of the information revolution.
@In the same manner that private corporations pursue earnings through the holding of patent rights, members of the academic world like ourselves achieve prestige and protection by copyrights, along with the accompanying continuation of research, and through the publication of valuable papers. Thus, the mutual sharing of intellectual technology through the transmission of information will lead to the rapid realization of breakthroughs and corresponding beneficial results. These breakthroughs and results in turn will be of use to humanity.
@The publication of valuable papers has the merit of fostering enthusiastic research and development under the principle of competition. Conversely, non-publication has the demerit that there is the possibility withholding the disclosure of crucial information that can slow the progress made in the fields of academia and health care. What we are seeking at present in the midst of the IT revolution of the 21st century is the relaxation of merits and demerits accompanying restrictions on copyrights and patent rights in medicine and health care. We desire to overcome the above problems while emphasizing the protection of individual originality and privacy.
@The progress of the creation of web sites, accompanying the growing use of computers, has brought us to the beginning of a paper-less and film-less age. Since this presses upon us the need to consider the ideal form for the output of research groups, academic gatherings and the editing of scientific journals in the future, I would like to close this introduction by sincerely requesting your valuable knowledge and opinions.

President of the Study Group of Microwave Surgery,
Editor in Chief, Journal of Microwave Surgery,
Director, Osaka Minami National Hospital

August, 2013 Greetings
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