SEATTLE, April 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Anchored by its recent introduction of the new ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Vascular Stapler, which enables the most precise placement on fragile vessels, Ethicon* is building a procedural solution for thoracic surgery designed to advance thoracic treatment and improve clinical outcomes for patients throughout the world. The procedural solution, announced at this week's American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Annual Meeting 2015, underscores the company's commitment in thoracic and spans its latest device innovation, unrivaled education and training offerings, clinical evidence generation —as well as, the appointment of the company's first thoracic Medical Director.
"Through collaboration with surgeons, we continue to bring innovative solutions to market that are designed to enhance thoracic procedures, provide greater clinical and economic value for health systems and help improve outcomes for patients," said Michael del Prado, Ethicon Group Chairman. "Today, we have a portfolio of products for all aspects of thoracic procedures, and we continue to find ways to bring innovation to both video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), which continues to gain momentum, and traditional thoracotomy. In addition, we are making a deeper commitment to education, training and research all over the world so that clinicians have access to best practices, the latest data and techniques."
Procedural Solution: Product Innovation
Ethicon's procedural solution includes a broad range of innovations intended to address the most pressing issues in thoracic surgery including bleeding, radiated tissue and challenging adhesions, as well as low adoption of minimally invasive techniques such as VATS. Our newly available ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Vascular Stapler is the narrowest transecting device on the market due to its articulating shaft and narrow anvil, along with its advanced placement tip allowing for better visibility, navigation and ease of placement during thoracic procedures, including VATS lobectomy for lung cancer. In benchtop testing of the ECHELON FLEX™ Powered Vascular Stapler, surgeons experienced improved control on vessels and performance consistency with 83% reduction in unwanted/ unintended distal tip movement,† and building upon this, the new ECHELON FLEX™ GST System, a powered stapler and reload system, is uniquely designed for better grip to provide the least tissue slippage during firing. These staplers are offered along with the Harmonic ACE®+7 Shears for precision and multi-functionality in dissection, mobilization and adhesiolysis, lymphadenectomy and vessel sealing.
"There is a significant clinical and economic value for thoracic surgeons and hospital systems to have a procedural solution that encompasses both treatment and training to help deliver consistent outcomes, procedural efficiency and clinician and patient satisfaction," said Diego Gonzalez-Rivas, MD, FETCS,** head of minimally invasive thoracic surgery unit at Coruna Hospital.
Procedural Solution: Thoracic Research, Education and Training
As part of its procedural focus, Ethicon recently announced the appointment of thoracic surgeon Edmund Kassis, MD, as its first medical director for thoracic surgery. Dr. Kassis will help guide the development of new products, evidence generation and education and training. He brings vast thoracic surgical experience through his tenures at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, MD Anderson and Ohio State University Medical Center.
Ethicon continues to conduct global training for thousands of thoracic surgeons through numerous training events each year, which include team-based and individual, as well as regional, local and web-based programs. Ethicon is holding a 2-day resident and fellows training course in June focused on Surgery for Stage 3 Lung Cancer, Complications of VATS Lobectomy and Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy, complete with an interactive faculty-led hands-on Tissue Lab.
"In thoracic surgery, there is still a critical need to reduce variability in the procedure, and drive proficiency in performing minimally invasive procedures. To help solve those challenges, we are extending our commitment to thoracic surgery by developing evidence-based solutions and providing the training, education and research to support surgeons," said Dr. Kassis. "Lung cancer is a devastating disease and it's imperative that we continue to partner with our customers around the world to develop comprehensive clinical evidence, education, and innovative procedural solutions—to ultimately benefit patients."
According to the American Cancer Society, there were about 224,210 new cases of lung cancer and about 159,260 deaths from the disease in 2014. Lung cancer accounts for about 27 percent of all cancer deaths and is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.
From creating the first sutures, to revolutionizing surgery with minimally invasive procedures, Ethicon has made significant contributions to surgery for nearly 60 years. Our continuing dedication to Shape the Future of Surgery is built on our commitment to help address the world's most pressing health care issues, and improve and save more lives. Through Ethicon's surgical technologies and solutions including sutures, staplers, energy devices, trocars and hemostats and our commitment to treat serious medical conditions like obesity and cancer worldwide, we deliver innovation to make a life-changing impact. Learn more at www.ethicon.com/thoracic, and follow us on Twitter @Ethicon.
* Ethicon represents the products and services of Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC and certain of their affiliates.
** Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas is a paid consultant of Ethicon.
† Benchtop testing on porcine carotid arteries. Surgeons (n=24) fired each instrument / reload once: PSE45A / ECR45W and EGIAUSTND/ EGIA45AVM. Distal tip motion measurement during the firing cycle showed a median reduction of 83% and a range of reduction of 53% to 96% in tip movement of PSE45A/ ECR45W vs. EGIAUSTND/ EGIA45AVM. Equivalence of handles, powered firing, user ergonomics and lengths between PSE45A and PVE35A substantiate inclusion of PVE35A.
 Benchtop testing in porcine stomach tissue. Mean tissue movement from after clamping on tissue to after firing ECHELON FLEX Powered Plus Stapler (PSEE60A) and ECHELON Reload with GST vs ENDO GIA™ ULTRA Handle (EGIAUSTND) and Endo GIA™ Reload with Tri-Staple™ Technology at 1.5, 2.5, 3.3 and 4.0mm tissue thicknesses (1.5mm; GST60B 1.067mm vs EGIA60AMT 2.452mm p<0.001; 2.5mm: GST60G 1.148mm vs EGIA60AMT 3.261mm p<0.001; 3.3mm: GST60T 0.642mm vs EGIA60AMT 4.806mm p<0.001; 4.0mm: GST60T 0.654mm vs EGIA60AXT 5.116mm p<0.001).