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Should I Thank the F.D.A.?

Tweet [1]

Kenneth Hodge – in response to my post yesterday on my surgery to repair an inguinal hernia [2] – e-mails me about surgical glue (which I lauded in my post):

It was available since the 60s but thanks to the FDA it was not used until 1998.

Here’s a link to a Wikipedia entry that Mr. Hodge sent on cyanoacrylate [3].  A slice:

CA glue was in veterinary use for mending bone, hide, and tortoise shell by the early 1970s or before. Harry Coover said in 1966 that a CA spray was used in the Vietnam war [4] to retard bleeding in wounded soldiers until they could be brought to a hospital. Butyl cyanoacrylate [5] has been used medically since the 1970s. In the US, due to its potential to irritate the skin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [6] did not approve its use as a medical adhesive until 1998 with Dermabond [7].[11] [8] Research has demonstrated the use of cyanoacrylate in wound closure as being safer and more functional than traditional suturing [9] (stitches).[12] [10] The adhesive has demonstrated superior performance in the time required to close a wound, incidence of infection (suture canals through the skin’s epidermal, dermal, and subcutaneous fat layers introduce extra routes of contamination),[12] [10] and final cosmetic appearance.

Make of this fact what you will.