When you have certain types of surgery such as gastrointestinal, gynecological, thoracic and bariatric surgery, there’s a good chance your doctor will use an internal surgical stapler to remove tissue (resection), cut across tissue (transect) or create an anastomosis (connection between structures). However, some brands of surgical staplers have proven defective and even dangerous, including several stapler and staple recalls in recent years.
Surgical Stapler and Staple Complications
The FDA analyzed reports of complications with internal surgical staplers and staples and found that from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2018, it received over 41,000 reports of complications, including 366 deaths, more than 9,000 serious injuries and more than 32,000 malfunctions.
The most commonly reported problems include the opening of the staple line, malformation of staples, misfiring, difficulty firing, and failure to fire. These problems can lead to life-threatening conditions, including:
- Internal bleeding;
- Fistula formation;
- Tearing of internal tissues and organs; and
These complications require immediate surgical intervention to save the patient’s life.
In many cases, the damage can be catastrophic and permanent. For example, patients who had gastrointestinal surgery and suffered an anastomotic leak due to a stapler and staple failure may be forced to undergo a colostomy resulting in temporary or permanent use of an ostomy bag.
If you or someone you love experienced complications from a surgical stapler and/or surgical staples, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced attorney from Faraci Lange, LLP, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (888) 997-4110.