Assembling the mesh sprayer device on the laparascopic camera (courtesy: LSU Health)
How the mesh sprayer device would work (Courtesy: LSU Health)
Mesh sprayer device in action (Courtesy: LSU Health)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
An LSU Health Surgeon has come up with a new way to treat and prevent hernias that could help save millions of dollars a year in health care costs.
Hundreds of thousands of people get hernias every year in the United States alone. Doctors use a type of mesh to repair those every day, but one LSU Health surgeon realized the treatment isn't as effective as it could be.
A hernia is when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. To repair one, it requires doctors to cut mesh into different sizes and place them over the organ in surgery.
"We realized quite lots of material of the mesh may get wasted and that would cost for the patients and to the system," explains Dr. Alireza Hamidian. "And also it is very time-consuming to get the mesh into the appropriate size and laid in the place that you need,"
As a chief surgery resident at LSU Health, Dr. Hamidian sees a lot of patients in need of hernia prevention and repair and knew there had to be a better way. So he developed a mesh sprayer device to make application easier. The device looks like a hairspray can. The capsule contains highly pressurized liquefied mesh.
"There are different kinds of mesh, in different sizes and different types, that you have to cut them into the size that you need and you have to lay it in the place that you need either through laparoscopy or with open surgery," said Dr. Hamidian.
"If it works, it will be fantastic," said Dr. Dean Griffen, the acting chairman of the surgery department at LSU Health.
Dr. Hamidian developed the sprayer with LSU Health's acting surgery chairman Dr. Dean Griffen and former surgery resident Dr. David Ballard.
"When we do major abdominal surgeries, hernias occur on average in 15% of cases, and if this can be used as an adjunct in wound closure, in preventing hernias, it can save millions of dollars in health care costs a year," said Dr. Griffen.
The design is competing in the medical category of The Create the Future Design Contest. Online voting is open through July 1 for this annual competition, which has attracted more than 12,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs and students worldwide.
The design is competing in the medical category of the NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest.
It's still in the development phase, so there is no prototype, yet.
You can see their patent here. Online voting continues through July 1.