IMPLANT AND IMPLANTING METHOD CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is a continuation-in-part of copending Pat. application Ser. No. 359,429, filed May 11, 1973 and entitled Method of Inserting an Implant into a Portion of a Tubular Organ Whose Mucous Lining has been Partially Removed now U.S. Pat. No. 3,815,578.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to implants.
In particular, the present invention relates to implants which have an elongated configuration and which are intended to be introduced into a tubular body organ.
As is well known, when an implant of this type is introduced into a tubular body organ, it is important to fix the implant in the tubular body organ. For this purpose such implants have been provided at their exterior with a tissue-ingrowth structure in the form of a porous matrix having pores into which the tissue will grow in order to provide a secure positioning of the implant in the body organ. In addition, this secure positioning is of particular importance in connection with implants such as vas valves which are received in a vas deferens because the engagement of the exterior of the valve with the tissue of the vas deferens will reliably prevent sperm from travelling along the exterior of the valve, thus bypassing the latter and defeating the purpose of the valve. Thus in general it is important to fixedly determine the location of the implant in the tubular organ and in certain specific cases such as the case of the vas valve, other important objectives are to be achieved by the growth of tissue into the pores of the ingrowth structure.
During the time interval immediately subsequent to introduction of the implant, the tissue has not yet grown into the ingrowth structure, so that it becomes necessary to provide the best possible conditions for tissue ingrowth while maintaining the implant in the desired position through means other than the ingrowth of tissue. For the purpose it has been customary to use sutures, but the application of sutures by a surgeon has proved to be extremely inconvenient and furthermore does not achieve the desired results in the best possible manner. Thus, even if sutures are used for temporarily holding the implant in position in the interior of the tubular body organ, it is still possible for the tubular body organ to move with respect to the implant. Thus even if sutures are capable of preventing, at least to some extent, longitudinal movement of the tubular body organ and the implant one with respect to the other, such sutures cannot prevent circumferential or twisting movement of the tubular body organ and the implant one with respect to the other. Any movment of this type, whether longitudinal or circumferential twisting, between the implant and the tubular body organ, retards the growth of tissue since the tissue will grow into the ingrowth structure in an ideal manner only when the tissue which engages the ingrowth structure is immobilized with respect thereto.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide an implanting method, as well as an implant and an implanting tool, all of which will con
tribute to achievement of the result of immobilizing the tissue with respect to the implant so that when the implant has an ingrowth structure the tissue will grow as rapidly as possible into the ingrowth structure.
5 In addition, however, it is an object of the present invention to provide an implant as well as an implanting method and tool which will prevent undesirable injury to the tubular organ either by the implant or by manipulations in connection with the implanting method.
10 Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide an implant which on the one hand will not injure the tubular organ when the implant is introduced into the tubular organ and which on the other hand when it is introduced is capable of achieving a perfect immobi
!5 lization of the inner surface of the tubular organ with respect to at least part of the implant where an ingrowth structure is located.
In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method for introducing the implant in such a
20 wav that the introduction of the implant can be carried out in a highly effective and convenient, rapid manner, even by a relatively unskilled surgeon.
In addition it is an object of the present invention to provide a tool by means of which it is possible to ma
25 nipulate the tubular organ during introduction of the implant into the latter.
Furthermore it is an object of the present invention to provide a tool of this type which is designed in such a way that there will be no interference between the
30 tool and parts of the implant.
The implant of the invention includes an elongated member having a free end which is first introduced into a tubular organ in advance of the remainder of the elongated member, the latter carrying a tissue-ingrowth
35 means spaced inwardly from the free end as well as a flexible barb means situated between the free end of the elongated member and the tissue-ingrowth means carried thereby. The barb means includes flexible barbs which are inclined away from the free end of the elon
40 gated member and which are capable of radially deflecting inwardly toward the elongated member. Thus when the implant is introduced these barbs can be deflected inwardly toward the elongated member so as to provide substantially no resistance to introduction of
45 the implant while at the same time preventing any injury to the tubular organ. At the same time the pointed ends of the barbs will act to prevent retraction of the tubular organ from the implant while at the same time maintaining the inner surface of the tubular organ
50 which engages the ingrowth means immobilized with respect to the latter so that there can be no longitudinal or • circumferential twisting movement between the ingrowth means and the tissue which is to grow into the latter;
55 During introduction of this implant, in accordance with the method of the invention, the tubular organ is gripped by tweezers which greatly facilitate pulling of the tubular organ onto the elongated member while the latter is introduced into the tubular organ. The barbs
60 carried by the elongated member are circumferentially distributed about the latter and the tweezers have teeth which are circumferentially distributed about the tubular organ but are angularly out of alignment with the barbs so that while the barbs and the tweezer teeth pass
65 each other during introduction of the implant into the tubular organ, the tweezer teeth will be aligned with spaces between the barbs so that the teeth of the tweezers do not exert any undesirable pressure on the barbs.