Studies show link between innovation and reduced surgery complications

Exciting data from the 26th European Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting shows an association between innovation, and improved patient outcomes and lowered hospital costs. Two studies presented at an Ethicon sponsored symposium show that significantly lower rates of bleeding complications occurred when ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Staplers where used, and how a first of its kind lung model can identify the cause of air leaks post-surgery. With such complications proving costly and dangerous for patients, finding ways to minimize risk is vitally important.

Findings from the first real-world study exploring the impact of powered staplers compared to manual devices in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for lung cancer, found that bleeding complications dropped by nearly half when surgeons used a powered stapler. The study which has been published in Advances in Therapy, also found a nearly 10% reduction in total hospital costs, and one day sooner discharge from the hospital associated with the powered-stapling procedures.

This real-world study shows stapler choice really does matter in significantly reducing bleeding complications and lowering overall costs in VATS lobectomy procedures. The results in favor of powered stapling devices in thoracic surgery are compelling.

Lead Study Author Daniel L. Miller, MD, Chief, General Thoracic Surgery at WellStar Health System, Mayo Clinic Care Network in Marietta, GA.

A lobectomy is a surgical procedure where an entire lobe of the lung is removed due to lung cancer, infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or benign tumors. Between 2-10% of lobectomies result in bleeding complications.

Findings from a lung model study, published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, found that unlike any system before, the novel ex-vivo model was able to successfully replicate a person’s breathing both under ventilated and natural conditions. Developed by Ethicon, in partnership with leading experts in thoracic surgery, the new model simulates the various physiologic environments experienced by an isolated lung during the perioperative period, allowing researchers to monitor how and why air leaks happen. Researchers will now be able to explore under clinically relevant conditions, the possible ways to reduce the risk of air leaks, a post-operative complication that occurs in 24% of lobectomies and associated with an almost doubled increase in hospital mortality.

We continue to take aim at critical clinical issues such as hemostasis complications through the development of innovative devices like ECHELON FLEX Powered Staplers and the generation of meaningful clinical and real-world evidence that fills knowledge gaps, validates outcomes and better informs everyday decision making.

Edmund Kassis, MD, Ethicon Sr. Medical Director for Thoracic Surgery.

This year, more than 310,000 adults all over Europe will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and it is approximated that only 18% will survive for longer than five years. Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer worldwide, causing more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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