The Need

Every year, approximately four to five million open abdominal surgeries are performed, and each operation requires the proper closure of the incision. Current abdominal wall closure can be dangerous and cumbersome. To ensure the integrity of the closure, surgeons must distribute sutures with even tension across the fascial muscle layer which is achieved by placing stitches at regular intervals. Improper closure can lead to a number of postoperative patient complications including infection, ischemia, and herniation. In terms of incidence and cost, herniation is the most significant problem. It occurrs in 9-15% of all surgeries and contributes $2.5 billion dollars annually in rehospitalization, reoperation, and medical malpractice costs to the healthcare industry.

Sohail Zahid discusses the use of FastStitch.

The Solution

FastStitch is an inexpensive, disposable suturing tool that places sutures at regular intervals by means of a suturing guide. To place a stitch with this device, a surgeon simply places the fascia layer between the two arms of the device and squeezes the trigger. The device also protects the needle from accidentally puncturing the internal organs without the assistance of other currently used protective equipment. This device replaces the current imprecise, ad hoc means of suturing with a method that is simpler, safer, and quicker.

An animation demonstrating how the FastStitch functions to close abdominal incisions after surgical procedures.