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Should I Thank the F.D.A.?

Kenneth Hodge – in response to my post yesterday on my surgery to repair an inguinal hernia – 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.  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 to retard bleeding in wounded soldiers until they could be brought to a hospital. Butyl cyanoacrylate 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 did not approve its use as a medical adhesive until 1998 with Dermabond.[11] Research has demonstrated the use of cyanoacrylate in wound closure as being safer and more functional than traditional suturing (stitches).[12] 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] and final cosmetic appearance.

Make of this fact what you will.