Just like a movie doesn't always need to be full of special effects to be a hit at the box office, a medical device doesn't always need to be complex to get a rave review. A perfect example is the latest product from Canica Design (Almonte, Ontario), an R&D company specializing in wound closure systems.

Because the device is designed to reduce pain and scarring after surgery, the SutureSafe wound care device has already been a hit among patients who have used it.

"The patients are our biggest fans ... the medical professionals thought it was neat but patients were just thrilled by it," Alden Rattew, executive VP at Canica, told Medical Device Daily.

Canica describes its SutureSafe product as a non-invasive, adhesive-based wound care device which applies as simply as a bandage, bridging the wound line over sutures or staples. The product's RipStop element is designed to stop the wound from pulling apart if it is subjected to sudden forces such as coughing or sneezing. The SutureSafe also has a silicone elastic center which is designed to help pull together the edges of the wound, Canica said, to counteract painful pulling against sutures or staples, increasing mobility and speeding the healing process.

Rattew said Canica has been working for the last eight years on developing what it calls tissue manipulation devices for wound closure.

"We found that a lot of the wounds we were closing were wounds that had already been closed in the past," Rattew said.

The company's technology was being used to reclose an operation wound that had either become infected for some reason or the patient was obese and all of a sudden the wound tore open, making the wound itself the problem rather than the reason for the original surgery, Rattew said.

"It became clear to us that if our technology could be used to close the wounds, why wouldn't we use [it] to prevent the wound from opening in the first place," Rattew said.

He said the most frequently asked question by patients coming out of surgery other than the obvious 'how did the operation go' is 'what is the scar going to look like?'

According to Canica, several independent, peer-reviewed clinical studies have shown that reduced tension on incisions results in less scarring with better cosmetic outcomes. The company believes its SutureSafe product does that and it removes cleanly and painlessly, Canica says.

"We know from results of multiple studies that tension across wounds or incisions can cause complications and the final appearance of a scar may be influenced by tension or mechanical factors," said Leonard Lee, the company's president. "SutureSafe is the latest product in our comprehensive line of patented dynamic wound closure and dynamic tissue manipulation devices which help patients heal faster, become mobile sooner and suffer less pain and scarring."

Lee said the SutureSafe can be easily applied in the hospital immediately after surgery and by patients following discharge.

Canica said the device has "large potential to benefit a wide range of patients." Plastic and reconstructive surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, lacerations and contaminated wounds, harvest sites such as blood vessels, and oncology procedures are just some of the areas the SutureSafe may benefit patients, the company noted.

Rattew told MDD that SutureSafe is by far Canica's "simplest product." The company also makes devices for abdominal wound closure, as well as several other wound closure products and surgical tools. Canica says dynamic tissue manipulation technologies include those that "elegantly eliminate use of sutures, staples and adhesives to close wounds, stretch tissue prior to surgery to ensure a low-tension repair, or stabilize already closed wounds."

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