Ethicon funded the peer-reviewed study, which appears online in Medical Devices: Evidence and Research. The study compared the Echelon stapler with Medtronic’s Signia stapling system with Tri-Staple among patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for obesity.
In the latest study, researchers found bleeding complication rates were up to 73% lower in the Echelon stapler than they were in the Signia group (0.61% versus 2.24%). The complication rate associated with Echelon powered staplers, according to Ethicon, was below the national average for the bariatric procedure, which previous studies have shown to range from 1.16% to 4.94%.
The study authors, who included four bariatric surgeons from around the world, used the Premier Healthcare Database of U.S. hospital discharge records to identify and analyze the real-world outcomes of 982 inpatient sleeve gastrectomy patients.
Further analysis is needed to determine why there was a lower rate of hemostasis-related complications for the Echelon stapler, according to Dr. Michael “Logan” Rawlins, lead study author and bariatric surgeon with the Allegheny Health Network Bariatric & Metabolic Institute in Pittsburgh.
“What we do know is stapler selection in bariatric surgery could be very important. The differences in stapler design can correlate with outcomes and complications following bariatric surgery,” Rawlins said in an Ethicon news release.
Medtronic spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for comment.