Surgical staples are medical staples doctors and surgeons use to close wounds after a surgical procedure has been performed. But are they safe? Read on to find out how many are claiming surgical staples caused them extreme harm and further medical complications.

What are Surgical Staples?

Surgical staples are a special medical alternative to stitches that doctors use to close skin or organ wounds. The makers of the device claim that they are a better choice compared to regular stitches or sutures. However, these devices must be removed by a doctor and do not dissolve on their own. These staples can last up to 21 days (about 3 weeks). However, the amount of time depends on the procedure performed.

Many medical professionals claim to use them for the following reasons:

  • They are a quick insertion
  • Considered strong
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Easily removed with a surgical staple remover
  • They reduce the amount of time a patient is in surgery and under anesthesia

Surgical staples are most used in the following procedures:

  • C-sections
  • Abdominal
  • surgeries
  • Stomach surgery

Additionally, there are many diverse types of the device including:

  • Plastic
  • Polymer
  • Dissolvable
  • Titanium
  • Circular

Issues with Surgical Staples

Medical devices can help many people with different injuries. However, these devices can cause serious complications. Ways these devices can cause complications to include:

  • The staples can break during or after placement
  • They can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals
  • Some staples can be contaminated and cause infection in the patient
  • Blood contamination can happen from metal or plastic leaking into the bloodstream
  • If there is too much force, there may be tissue damage
  • Complications during the insertion process may cause blood loss or new wounds

Many are reporting their medical staples to cause severe injuries such as:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Infections
  • Organ damage
  • Fistula
  • Death
  • Sepsis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Digestive system damage
  • Need for a permanent “ostomy bag.”
  • Increase risk of cancer
  • Needing additional surgeries


Device Recalls

There have been recalls on some brands of surgical staples including the following:

  • April 2018: Covidien recalled two surgical staples for EEA Hemorrhoid and Prolapse Stapler Sets
  • April 2018: Covidien recalled 40 GIA surgical stapler devices due to a “possible missing sled component”.
  • May 2018: Covidien recalled 14 more Covidien GIA staplers for the same reason.
  • August 2018: Covidien’s EEA Circular Stapler with Tri-Staple Technology was recalled due to “the potential for a device to have an incorrect tissue gap”.
  • May 2019: An additional 12 recalls were made for the Covidien GIA staplers
  • April 2019: The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance regarding labeling surgical staples and staplers.

Is There a Lawsuit?

When there is a medical device with many complications and claims of injury, lawsuits usually follow. As of right now, there are multiple lawsuits for surgical staples. The lawsuits are still in the preliminary stages of litigation. The courts have not made an official MDL for the consolidated cases at this time.

There are many different companies that manufacturer these devices, however, the following are the manufacturers victims are prosecuting against:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Ethicon
  • Medtronic
  • Covidien