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Flush patch for elastomeric implant shell

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Flush patch for elastomeric implant shell


An elastomeric prosthetic breast implant is provided having a shell and a patch forming a flush interface with the shell and no sudden surface steps on both interior and exterior surfaces of the shell.
Related Terms: Breast Implant

Browse recent Allergan, Inc. patents - Irvine, CA, US
Inventor: David J. Schuessler
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120303120 - Class: 623 8 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 623 
Prosthesis (i.e., Artificial Body Members), Parts Thereof, Or Aids And Accessories Therefor > Breast Prosthesis >Implantable

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120303120, Flush patch for elastomeric implant shell.

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RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/288,885, filed Nov. 3, 2011, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/431,070, filed Apr. 28, 2009, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,070,809, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/038,919, filed on Apr. 28, 2008, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by this specific reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to patches for elastomeric implants and, more particularly, to devices and methods for forming a patch flush with an elastomeric implant shell.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Implantable prostheses are commonly used to replace or augment body tissue. In the case of breast cancer, it is sometimes necessary to remove some or all of the mammary gland and surrounding tissue that creates a void that can be filled with an implantable prosthesis. The implant serves to support surrounding tissue and to maintain the appearance of the body. The restoration of the normal appearance of the body has an extremely beneficial psychological effect on post-operative patients, eliminating much of the shock and depression that often follows extensive surgical procedures. Implantable prostheses are also used more generally for restoring the normal appearance of soft tissue in various areas of the body, such as the buttocks, chin, calf, etc.

Soft implantable prostheses typically include a relatively thin and quite flexible envelope or shell made of vulcanized (cured) silicone elastomer. The shell is filled either with a silicone gel or with a normal saline solution. The filling of the shell takes place before or after the shell is inserted through an incision.

One process for forming flexible implant shells for implantable prostheses and tissue expanders involves dipping a suitably shaped mandrel into a silicone elastomer dispersion. The outer silicone elastomer shell may have an anatomical configuration, in this case matching the breast, and comes off the mandrel with a shell hole. A patch over the shell hole typically includes an uncured portion directly over the hole and a cured portion covering that and adhered to the inner surface of the shell. The patch is cured and then the hollow interior of the shell is filled with an appropriate gel via a needle hole in the patch. The needle hole in the patch is then sealed with a silicone adhesive and the implant oven cured to achieve cross-linking of the gel.

Another process for forming implant shells is rotational molding, such as the system and methods described in U.S. Patent No. 6,602,452 to Schuessler. The process also results in a flexible implant shell having a hole that requires a patch.

Patches for flexible implant shells are sized larger than the manufacturing hole to provide some bonding area. The overlap of the patch on the shell results in a slight surface step on the inside or outside of the shell which may be noticeable in the finished product, which is undesirable. Also, such a palpable step or discontinuity may irritate tissue in contact with the exterior of the implant.

Despite many advances in the construction of soft prosthetic implant shells, there remains a need for a smoother joint between a patch and a manufacturing hole in the implant shell.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a hollow medical implant comprises an elastomeric hollow shell having a contiguous and consistent wall except in an access region, and a patch extending thereacross. The patch is securely bonded to the shell and a peripheral edge of the patch and the shell cooperate to form a flush interface with no surface steps on both interior and exterior surfaces of the implant.

In another aspect, the invention includes a hollow medical implant, comprising an elastomeric hollow shell having a contiguous and consistent wall except in an access region. A patch extends across the access region of the shell and securely affixes thereto. The patch has an outer flange and the shell wall forms an exterior butt joint against a peripheral edge of the flange and overlaps an inner surface of the flange in a manner that results in no surface steps.

Both the elastomeric hollow shell and patch may be made of materials with similar elastic modulus, durometer and elongation, and may even be made of the same material. Desirably, the elastomeric hollow shell is made of a solvent-based solid elastomer and the patch is made of a liquid silicone rubber without a solvent. In one embodiment, the patch includes a stem projecting radially inward into the interior of the hollow shell and an outer flange extending circumferentially outward from the stem, wherein the shell wall forms a flush butt joint against a peripheral edge of the flange and overlaps an inner surface of the flange and extends at least to the stem. In another embodiment, the patch is a substantially flat disk shape and the shell wall covers an entire inner face of the patch. The patch flange may increase in radial thickness from its periphery toward its center such that the portion of the shell wall that overlaps the inner surface of the flange is thickest adjacent the flange periphery.

In one form, the implant is for implantation in the breast and the elastomeric hollow shell is accordingly shaped. Other implant applications include for the buttocks, testes, calf, etc. In some embodiments, the implant is a tillable implant, for example, a saline tillable breast implant or tissue expander. In other embodiments, the implant is an intragastric balloon.

In some embodiments, the implant is a tillable or inflatable implant such as a saline fillable breast implant or an inflatable intragastric balloon and the patch includes a fill valve for facilitating inflation of the implant.

The present invention also embodies a method of formation of a medical implant, comprising:

providing a mold cavity having a sprue orifice;

covering the sprue orifice with a patch;

introducing a silicone elastomer into the mold cavity;

causing the silicone elastomer to distribute generally evenly around the mold cavity and over at least a portion of the patch;

curing the silicone elastomer to form a hollow implant shell having the patch bonded thereto; and

removing the implant shell from the mold cavity.

The patch may be shaped relative to and positioned within the mold cavity so that after formation of the hollow implant shell a peripheral edge of the patch and the shell cooperate to form a flush interface with no sudden surface steps on both interior and exterior surfaces of the implant. The step of introducing preferably includes introducing the silicone elastomer into the mold cavity through the patch. During the step of causing the silicone elastomer to distribute generally evenly around the mold cavity the method may include extending a vent tube through the patch and venting gas from within the mold cavity though the vent tube. Also, a tube may be inserted through the patch for filling the mold cavity with a silicone gel through the tube, which is then cured to form a solid prosthesis.



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Previous Patent Application:
Capsular opacification blocking lens
Next Patent Application:
Device and method for securing a ligature to an osseous structure
Industry Class:
Prosthesis (i.e., artificial body members), parts thereof, or aids and accessories therefor
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120303120 A1
Publish Date
11/29/2012
Document #
13570102
File Date
08/08/2012
USPTO Class
623/8
Other USPTO Classes
606/1, 606192, 606191
International Class
/
Drawings
7


Breast Implant


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