Surgical stapling instrument with lockout features to prevent advancement of a firing assembly unless an unfired surgical staple cartridge is operably mounted in an end effector portion of the instrument

  • US 10,206,678 B2
  • Filed: 06/22/2015
  • Issued: 02/19/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/03/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A surgical stapling instrument, comprising:

  • a surgical end effector comprising first and second jaws movably supported relative to each other for selective movement between open and closed positons;

    an elongate shaft defining a longitudinal axis and operably interfacing with said surgical end effector;

    an articulation joint configured to facilitate selective articulation of said surgical end effector in directions transverse to said longitudinal axis;

    a longitudinally-reciprocating firing assembly, comprising;

    a firing bar comprising a plurality of laminated strips; and

    a knife, comprising;

    a vertically extending knife body coupled to a distal end of said firing bar, said vertically extending knife body including an upper end portion and a lower end;

    at least one upper-most lateral member laterally protruding from said upper end portion of said vertically extending knife body;

    a bottom-most lateral member laterally protruding from said lower end of said vertically extending knife body; and

    a cutting edge on said vertically extending knife body between said at least one upper-most lateral member and said bottom-most lateral member, wherein said surgical stapling instrument further comprises;

    a firing assembly lockout arrangement on one of said first and second jaws and being configured to engage a portion of said knife to prevent distal advancement of said knife from a starting position to an ending position unless an unfired surgical staple cartridge is operably supported in said one of said first and second jaws; and

    means for applying a firing motion to said longitudinally-reciprocating firing assembly to drive said knife from said starting position to said ending position and return said knife from said ending position to said starting position,wherein said firing assembly lockout arrangement comprises a recess in said one of said first and second jaws sized to receive said portion of said knife therein,wherein said unfired surgical staple cartridge comprises a sled positioned in a pre-fired position, and wherein said sled engages said vertically extending knife body to prevent said portion of said knife from entering said recess.

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