Healthcare Industry News:  Cook Medical  

Devices Gastroenterology

 News Release - March 1, 2010

Cook Medical's Hercules 3 Stage Esophageal Balloon, Used to Treat Gastrointestinal Strictures, Now Available in U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe

Advanced design, proprietary materials add strength, speed and accuracy1 for GI relief

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Gastrointestinal (GI) strictures are abnormal narrowings of the digestive tract that, if left untreated, can dangerously interfere with eating, swallowing and digestion. Developed to treat such strictures, the Cook Medical Hercules® 3 Stage Esophageal Balloon is now available in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe after receiving 510(k) clearance and CE Mark certification, expanding Cook’s offering of the most comprehensive line of devices for the endoscopy market.

The Hercules 3 Stage Esophageal Balloon is made with proprietary P.E.T. FLEX™ technology, a new material that optimally combines the high tensile strength and flexibility necessary for a strong balloon that inflates accurately to three distinct and increasing diameters. Already available as a non-wire guided balloon, Hercules has been used by clinicians to successfully treat benign and malignant strictures in the esophagus. With the addition of the wire-guided version, Cook now offers a Hercules Balloon option for the entire GI tract including the pylorus, duodenum and colon.

“Because of the two radiopaque markers, it was very easy to image the balloon for positioning,” said Dr. Kevin Waschke, M.D., C.M., FRCPC, director of therapeutic endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound, McGill University Health Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. “We have not experienced any difficulties to date, in any cases, regarding the strength of the balloon. We’ve noticed how convenient it was to stage accurately, and we did not need to constantly adjust the position of the balloon. At the conclusion of the procedure, we were able to deflate the balloon rapidly and then remove the balloon without any difficulties. In the past, other balloons could become stuck, which always required additional time and additional patient sedation.”

GI strictures are treated endoscopically by passing a deflated balloon into the strictured area, inflating it to dilate the passage, and then deflating and removing the dilator. A balloon dilator can also be used to open the lumen so other procedures can be performed, such as biopsies or stent placement.

The preloaded wire-guided Hercules dilator facilitates the navigation of narrowed passageways. With the strongest radial strength2 of any dilator on the market, Hercules holds its shape during dilation and inflates to three distinct and increasing diameters, reducing the need for multiple dilation procedures. Two radiopaque bands on the balloon aid in accurate fluoroscopic positioning, and glow-in-the-dark labels and unique packaging enhance ease of use.

“The Hercules 3 Stage Esophageal Balloon is an expansion of the Hercules product line that brings the benefits of this technology to areas outside of the esophagus,” said Barry Slowey, business unit leader, Cook Endoscopy. “Hercules now offers the choice of either a preloaded wire-guided or a non-wire-guided balloon, improving dilation procedures and efficiencies. We’re excited to make this technology available to physicians throughout the U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe.”

Hercules’ Express Evacuation Catheter facilitates rapid deflation of the balloon when negative pressure is applied to the inflation device. Even if gastroenterologists begin the withdrawal process prior to complete deflation, Hercules can still be withdrawn through the scope, making the procedure simpler and faster for the physician3.

About Cook Medical

Founded in 1963, Cook Medical pioneered many of the medical devices now commonly used to perform minimally invasive medical procedures throughout the body. Today, the company integrates medical devices, drugs and biologics to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. Since its inception, Cook has operated as a family-held private corporation. For more information, visit Follow Cook Medical on Twitter at

1 Data on file at Cook Medical

2 Data on file at Cook Medical

3 Data on file at Cook Medical

Source: Cook Medical

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