Hernia Repair Workshop Highlights Use Of Biologic Grafts

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 5:28am

Surgical residents in their final years of surgical training learned the latest techniques in using biologic grafts to treat hernias in a workshop led by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), and sponsored through an educational grant from Cook Medical. The workshop, entitled “Advanced Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery Workshop” took place during August in St. Louis. This workshop was scheduled after the same course, held earlier this year in Indianapolis, had more applications than could be accommodated.

Cook Medical continues its longstanding commitment to physician education through this educational grant to SAGES, a surgical society well-known for its courses on advanced laparoscopic techniques. This workshop on the use of biologic grafts comes at an important time in the industry. Biologic grafts are increasingly being used to repair complex hernias because of several advantages when compared to repairs using synthetic mesh. Less prone to infection and erosion than synthetic mesh, biologic grafts offer surgeons good handling characteristics, long-term strength and tissue remodeling. Biologic grafts are particularly finding widespread use in procedures involving contaminated surgical fields, and where prior surgery, infection or other conditions complicate repair of the hernia.

“The workshop served as a concentrated learning opportunity for residents by allowing them to work in small groups with a faculty of experienced surgeons. This interaction provided an in-depth review of advanced techniques for using biologic grafts in hernia repair,” said Leena Khaitan, MD, SAGES Resident Education Committee Chair. “With the positive feedback we have received from faculty and participants, we look forward to continuing these workshops. We appreciate Cook offering an educational grant to support the training of senior surgical residents.”

“Biologic grafts have become an important tool in surgeons’ efforts to provide patients with a permanent repair without the lasting side effects seen with a permanent indwelling synthetic mesh,” said Andy Cron, vice president of Cook Medical’s Surgery business unit. “The interest demonstrated in these workshops signals the increased use and importance of this treatment option. Cook Medical understands the benefit biological grafts can bring to patients and we are pleased to have cooperated with SAGES to provide surgical education for best use of these advanced products.”

An established leader in the soft tissue repair industry, Cook has a considerable history of providing educational training to surgeons and residents around the most up-to-date techniques in various soft tissue repair procedures and treatments. Cook’s biologic graft technology, Biodesign®, is a whole new category in the evolution of soft tissue repair, addressing physicians’ needs for an advanced biologic graft. Once implanted, Biodesign communicates with the body, signaling surrounding tissue to grow across the scaffold, allowing the body to restore itself. Biodesign completely remodels into fully vascularized tissue that becomes stronger over time, providing a permanent repair without a permanent material. Biodesign combines the best attributes of biologic grafts–resistance to infection and complete remodeling–with the added benefits of moderate price, ease of use and widespread availability. Introduced by Cook in 1998 and manufactured in the Cook Biotech facility in West Lafayette, Ind., the technology has been used in more than one million patient treatments and distributed to 96 countries for use in hernia and fistula repair, continence restoration, wounds, pelvic floor repair and Peyronie’s disease treatment, as well as in staple line reinforcement for bariatric surgery and breast reconstruction and revision. To date, more than 800 peer-reviewed articles have been published on the technology behind Biodesign. For more information on Biodesign, visit or follow Cook on Twitter at

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