The Panacryl suture was introduced in 1999. Panacryl sutures were marketed by the Johnson & Johnson division of Ethicon, Inc. as a unique product for the combination of absorbability and suture strength. It was also suggested that the Panacryl suture would be useful for extended wound support for up to six months. The majority of Panacryl suture problems are related to their use in the soft tissue lower abdominal area and gynecologic surgery, including both laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. These problems often required additional surgery to remove the infected or problematic sutures. Patients who required these additional surgeries could have recovery times from as little as a few months to as long as a year. There are even cases where the Panacryl sutures remained unabsorbed in the patient for a year or two before infection, granulomas or other problems arose.Panacryl sutures are a type of absorbable sutures, or stitches, that are commonly used to assist patient's wound healing after surgery. These sutures are intended to be absorbed by the body so there is no need for removal at a later time. Panacryl sutures unfortunately may have been the cause of more harm by not dissolving as intended.
All Panacryl sutures were voluntarily recalled by Ethicon on March 28, 2006. The company’s reason for the recall was that “The unique absorption profile of Panacryl in the suture could act as a foreign body so that surgeons should consider its use in specific situations.” According to Ethicon, the recall includes 1,061,712 sutures which were distributed throughout the US and internationally.
Former Johnson & Johnson Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joel Lippmann says he objected to the release of the Panacryl suture "whose use resulted in numerous adverse events," but the manufacturer released it anyway and continued to receive reports of "adverse events."
Adverse Events Associated with Panacryl Sutures
The following are common adverse complications experienced by some patients after post surgery:
• Elevated rate of infection.
• Sutures unable to absorb into patients body.
• Suture Granulomas, a bump under the skin, as a result of scar tissue forming around the suture).
• Tunneling, tiny tunnels form around the incision area caused by the suture inhibiting healthy tissue growth).
• Spitting Sutures occurs when the suture is pushed out to the skin surface by the body rejecting the suture).
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