US 3194239 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 13, 1965 c, J. P. SULLIVAN 3,194,239
SUTURE PROVIDED WITH RADIOPAQUE FREE METAL Filed Jan. 1e, 196s Y FI (5 I FI G. 2
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CORNELIUS J. P. SULLIVAN A TTOR NE YS' Cornelius J. P. Sullivan, 19
United States Patent This invention relatesvsto av suture material and more particularly to a suture material comprised of a suture component absorbable by the body andy a radiopaque material intimatelyl associated therewith and non-absorbable by the body whereby the condition of an internal scar previously sutured with said material may be ascertained by X-ray photography or the like.
Illustrative of the problem overcome by this invention arises in connection with Caesarean sections. Once a patient has been subjected to a Caesarean section, subsequent pregnanciesV create Vexing problems for the obstetrician and gynecologist. It is a common practice today to assume that once a Caesarean section has been performed that subsequent pregnancies by the patient should be similarly treated, this despite the fact that less than 3 percent of Caesarean section scar evidence incidents of rupture or dehiscence. Caesarean sections upon healing have intact a myometrial scar suicient to withstand labor and delivery through the natural passages. Presently, however, there is no method having a reasonable degree of certainty by which the condition of this internal scar can be determined prior to delivery. X-ray photography is not satisfactory because the scar and its surroundings are transparent to X-rays. However, this invention now makes it feasible to determine the nature of internal scars by employing ordinary X-r'ay photography techniques. Principally, this is done by incorporating into or with the suture component a radiopaque material, that is a material capable of absorbing X-rays, so that an X-ray picture may be obtained showing the condition of the scar.
While Caesarean scars are used as exemplary, other utility is intended, such as the examination of any internal scar that may be weakened. In vascular .repairs of aortic aneurysms, the suture material of this inventiony can be utilized for its ability as a marker to indicate the healing of the scar. In cystocoele repairs, that is in repair of fallen bladders, the suture material of this invention can be used as a research suture to study what happens in inadequate repairs.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a suture material that includes a body absorbable suture component and a body nonabsorbable radiopaque material associated therewith, whereby the condition of an internal scar may be quite easily determined by conventional techniques such as X-ray photography.
This and other objects will be apparent from a more detailed description of the following drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic representation of the use of the suture material of the present invention in closing an open wound;
FIGURE 2 4is a schematic representation of the wound closed by the suture material of this invention;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic representation of a wound which has healed, showing the continued presence of the radiopague material but the absence of the adsorbable suture component;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic representation of a dehisced scar showing the presence of the radiopague material alone, spread widely apart both cephale-caudad and laterally; and
FIGURE 5 is a schematic representation, partly in In the majority of cases,
3,194,239 Patented July 13, 1965 section, showing one means of attaching radiopaque clip vform of beads impregnated into or mounted on the suture material. Any conventional method may be used to coat the suture material with the radiopaque material. such as simply running the thread-like suture material through a coating bath containing the radiopaque material. If beads of radiopaque material are employed, these beads may be forced into or onto the suture material by any convenient method or may be incoporated therein during the original formation of the suture material. As is well known, some plastics are usable as absorbable sutures and consequently, it is apparent that during the formation of such plastic sutures the radiopaque material may be impregnated therein. These small metal beads may be spaced as closely as one-fourth of an inch apart in the suture.
The radiopaque material may be a free metal such as silver, tantalum, bismuth or stainless steel or salts of silver, tantalum and bismuth. Other equivalent innocuous non-absorbable materials may be employed.
Turning to the drawings, FIGURE 1 shows the application of the suture of the present invention to an open wound and shows the wound partly closed. FIGURE 2 shows the appearance of the wound after it has been closed by the suturing process. FIGURE 3 shows the wound healed with scar tissue and the radiopague material still present in a conguration substantially similar to the original suture coniguration. X-ray photography would show the radiopaque material in this conguration and would indicate that the wound has properly healed. FIGURE 4 shows a dehisced scar with the radiopaque material spread widely apart both cephalo-caudad and laterally. The X-ray photograph would show this displacement of the radiopaque material and would consequently indicate that the wound had spread apart. Normally, then, an X-ray photograph showing the radiopaque material outline of FIGURE 3 would indicate a properly closed and healed wound, whereas an X-ray photograph showing the dispersion of the radiopaque material as in FIGURE 4 would show that the wound had not properly closed. In FIGURE 5, a radiopaque clip member 10 may be mounted onto the suture 11 by any convenient means. The clip may extend between about 750 and yo inch axially of the suture 11 and adjacent clips may be spaced about 1A; inch apart.
What has been illustrated is one form of the present invention. Other forms obvious to those skilled in the art from the teachings herein are contemplated to be within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A suture material useful in determining the condition of internal scars comprising an absorbable suture component and a non-absorbable radiopaque free metal selected `from the group consisting of silver, bismuth, tantalum, and stainless steel intimately associated therewith, whereby said radiopaque free metal will remain in the body after said absorbable suture component has been absorbed thereby permitting the condition of an internal scar to be determined by X-ray photography.
2. The suture material of claim 1 wherein said radiopaque free metal is in the form of a coating over the outer surface of said absorbable suture component.
paque free metal is in :the formV ofY beads carried by said absorbable suture `component atvntervals ,thereonV v 4. The `srliure materalof claim 1 wherein sjaidradiop'aque freemetaI-is,v in the form' of Clip membersmounted about said absorbable suture componentV a'tY 'interva1 s" thereon.'
` o V5.: A sutureYmaterialcomprisingeinYabsorbablesuturey component and metallic ,sili/erclil'ys;V mounted 'about said jabsoroble suture. componentat irrtervalsthereomvvheref:V
by ysaid silver clip's willfreman 1in ,theobodyg after said i Vvelbsornbable' suture component hasV beenrbsorbedfthereby permitting the` condition of an vinternal scar tofbe'de-@ termired by X-ray photography. 1 Y
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