Healthcare Industry News:  Cook Medical  

Devices Gastroenterology

 News Release - September 30, 2008

Cook Medical Continues to Drive Endoscopy Innovations with Industry's Strongest 3 Stage Balloon Dilator

Hercules(TM) employs breakthrough P.E.T.FLEX(TM), a proprietary technology designed to provide an unparalleled combination of strength and staging accuracy

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Cook Medical continues to innovate in the endoscopy market with Hercules™, the strongest three-stage balloon dilator for benign and malignant strictures in the esophagus. The Endoscopy strategic business unit of Cook, offering the most comprehensive line of devices for the endoscopy market, has designed with first-of-its-kind P.E.T.FLEX™ technology, the strongest dilation material available. Hercules offers an unmatched combination of strength, and staging accuracy. As a result, Hercules –used in almost 10,000 dilation cases since its release this summer – generates greater radial force to a stricture at the same or lower pressures (when comparing the 18-19-20 balloon)2 than other stageable balloon dilators, providing longer, luminal patency and potentially allowing for a faster, more effective dilation procedure.

Esophageal strictures are abnormal narrowings of the distal portion of the esophagus that present with symptoms including difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), painful swallowing (odynophagia), regurgitation of food and weight loss. The most common cause of benign esophageal strictures, comprising between 70 and 80 percent of all esophageal strictures1, is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Esophageal dilations are also performed to treat both benign and malignant esophageal strictures and can offer potential relief for those suffering from the resulting dysphagia. In cases with malignant esophageal strictures, dilation is used to allow for the performance of endoscopic procedures or facilitate esophageal stent placement.

“With the new P.E.T.FLEX™ proprietary technology enabling the balloon material to expand to three distinct stages, Hercules merges strength and convenience to form the next generation of esophageal dilation,” said Barry Slowey, vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for Cook Medical’s Endoscopy strategic business unit. “This innovation represents the latest addition to the many best-in-class devices that comprise Cook’s comprehensive line of endoscopic products available to gastroenterologists for the various procedures they encounter.”

During an esophageal dilation procedure, a balloon is inflated in the esophagus in order to open narrowed areas, called strictures. When Cook engineers set out to make a stronger and more efficient balloon, they began with P.E.T. – the material used to make the everyday water bottle – because of its strength and its ability to be molded into a clearly defined shape. By enhancing P.E.T., they created P.E.T.FLEX™, a new technology, which optimally combines the high tensile strength and flexibility necessary for a strong balloon that inflates accurately to three distinct and increasing diameters. Unlike the material used in traditional balloons, which stretches during inflation, P.E.T.FLEX™ retains its shape and strength during the dilation process. In fact, recent bench-top studies have shown the Hercules balloon produces, on average, 154 percent greater radial force than the leading competitor’s dilation balloons (when comparing the 18-19-20 balloon)2. This potentially reduces the chance for repeat procedures, overcomes strictures to relieve the patient’s dysphagia and delivers a more effective dilation.

Hercules’ Rapid Deflation Sleeve™3 combined with its Express Evacuation Catheter, allows for rapid deflation of the balloon simply by applying negative pressure to the inflation device. Even if gastroenterologists begin the withdrawal process prior to complete deflation, Hercules can still be easily withdrawn through the scope, making the procedure simpler and faster for the physician.

About Cook Medical

Cook Medical was one of the first companies to help popularize interventional medicine, pioneering many of the devices now commonly used worldwide to perform minimally invasive medical procedures. Today, the company integrates device design, biopharma, gene and cell therapy and biotech to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes in the fields of aortic intervention; interventional cardiology; critical care medicine; gastroenterology; radiology, peripheral vascular, bone access and oncology; surgery and soft tissue repair; urology; and assisted reproductive technology, gynecology and high-risk obstetrics. Cook is a past winner of the prestigious Medical Device Manufacturer of the Year Award from Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine. For more information, visit

1 Vasudeva & Deal, 2006, p.2

2Data on file at Cook Medical.

3Using 60cc syringe

Source: Cook Medical

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