Ethicon Looks to Innovation in Quest to Reduce Thoracic Surgery Complications

Ethicon points to its innovations during a symposium at this year’s 26th European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, linking its advances with improved patient outcomes and lowered hospital costs.


Between 2-10% of lobectomies result in bleeding complications which can prove costly and dangerous for patients. Minimising this risk underpins two studies that were presented at a symposium sponsored by J&J’s Ethicon during this year’s ESTS event.  One study showed significantly lower rates of bleeding complications when using ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Staplers compared to manual devices in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for lung cancer.

Findings from the first real-world study exploring the impact of powered staplers compared to manual devices in VATS 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.

Investigator comments

Lead study author Daniel L. Miller, MD, Chief, General Thoracic Surgery at WellStar Health System, Mayo Clinic Care Network in Marietta, GA said, “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.”

Modelling for Air Leaks

In the second study a first of its kind lung model was shown to  identify the cause of air leaks post-surgery. Findings, 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.

Company comments

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

Source: Ethicon

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