Tennessee Patent of the Month – March 2023
Mastectomies, among other surgeries, often result in some post-surgical fluid buildup which needs to be managed to support a strong recovery. This fluid management typically requires the patient to wear graduated bulbs to collect the fluid. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of the onus on the patient to safely collect, drain, and measure fluid while maintaining a sterile environment and ensuring the fluid doesn’t flow back into the cavity.
Somavac Medical Solutions Inc. has recently been granted a patent for their SOMAVAC® deep tissue Negative Pressure Therapy system which removes the fluid produced after surgery and helps hold the tissue layers together to reduce the occurrence of seroma. This patented design addresses the issues of traditional bulbs, making it easier for patients to care for themselves post surgery. Their device also provides diagnostic capabilities.
The design creates a continuous suction to remove fluid as it is produced. This minimizes the fluid build-up that so often leads to seromas and other complications. The device is integrated into a discrete belt design which fits around the waist, storing fluid while you go about your daily tasks. The storage bags have markings to indicate the volume of fluid so that the patient no longer needs to measure fluid in measuring cups. The bags are also made of thick materials, ensuring odor cannot permeate through.
With easily stored and sterile bags, the fluid can be tested via both cytological and biochemical analyses to detect any residual malignancy. This contribution to reliable diagnostics has the potential to change the way oncologic surgeries are managed, making postoperative therapies based on disease stage and residual malignancy more feasible.
The SOMAVAC® is currently cleared by the FDA for seroma prevention in breast reconstruction and mastectomy procedures.
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