Surgical end effectors and adaptable firing members therefor

  • US 10,973,516 B2
  • Filed: 12/21/2016
  • Issued: 04/13/2021
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/21/2016
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A surgical end effector, comprising:

  • a first jaw comprising a first tissue-supporting surface;

    a second jaw comprising a second tissue-supporting surface; and

    a firing member configured to translate relative to said first jaw and said second jaw during a firing stroke, wherein said firing member comprises;

    a support portion comprising a slot;

    a first flange extending from said support portion, wherein said first flange is configured to engage said first jaw during the firing stroke, wherein said first flange comprises a proximal end and a distal end, and wherein a plane extends between said proximal end and said distal end; and

    a second flange positioned in said slot, wherein said second flange is configured to engage said second jaw during the firing stroke, wherein said second flange is configured to maintain a first tissue gap between said first tissue-supporting surface and said second tissue-supporting surface when a first force is applied to said second flange, wherein said second flange is configured to move proximally in said slot toward an apex of said slot when a threshold force is applied to said second flange to move said second flange a farther distance from the plane and adopt a second tissue gap between said first tissue-supporting surface and said second tissue-supporting surface, wherein the first tissue gap is less than the second tissue gap, and wherein the first force is less than the threshold force.

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