Patents by Inventor Stephen J. Failla

Stephen J. Failla has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 5613939
    Abstract: Abdominal wall lift devices and methods are disclosed that extend a lift device through an opening in the abdominal wall in an entry configuration and subsequently transform the device to a deployed configuration within the abdominal cavity. One embodiment includes a plurality of elongated bar members that may be introduced into an abdominal cavity in a separated end-to-end orientation. The bar members are subsequently interconnected into a deployed configuration within the abdominal cavity. Another embodiment includes a device that may be introduced through a small opening in an abdominal wall in a generally L-shaped configuration and subsequently deployed into a generally T-shaped configuration within the abdominal cavity. A further embodiment includes an umbrella-like device that may be introduced in a slender generally cylindrical configuration and subsequently deployed into an open umbrella-type configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5547458
    Abstract: Abdominal wall lift devices and methods are disclosed that extend a lift device through an opening in the abdominal wall in an entry configuration and subsequently transform the device to a deployed configuration within the abdominal cavity. One embodiment includes a plurality of elongated bar members that may be introduced into an abdominal cavity in a separated end-to-end orientation. The bar members are subsequently interconnected into a deployed configuration within the abdominal cavity. Another embodiment includes a device that may be introduced through a small opening in an abdominal wall in a generally L-shaped configuration and subsequently deployed into a generally T-shaped configuration within the abdominal cavity. A further embodiment includes an umbrella-like device that may be introduced in a slender generally cylindrical configuration and subsequently deployed into an open umbrella-type configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1996
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Ortiz, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5545123
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for lifting an abdominal wall during laparoscopic diagnostic and surgical procedures. The surgical lift device includes a gripping portion for contacting and holding an external skin surface adjacent the abdominal wall. The gripping portion is selectively detachable from the skin surface. The device further includes a lifting portion that extends outwardly from the gripping portion. In accordance with alternative embodiments, the gripping portion may comprise an adhesive sheet or a suction member and the lifting portion may comprise a wire member or a portion of a hook and loop-type fastener.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Ortiz, Stephen J. Failla, Jean-Pierre Kinet, Frederic Marie
  • Patent number: 5501654
    Abstract: An elastically deformable element having multiple stacked strips for articulation in an endoscopic surgical instrument. The deformable element is usable in a variable retractor and an instrument having an articulating housing. The working section of the retractor variably moves from a curved configuration when outside of a sheath to a substantially straightened configuration when inside the sheath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1996
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Failla, Michael J. Stokes, Daniel W. Price, Charles M. Rarey, Bennie Thompson
  • Patent number: 5415160
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for lifting an abdominal wall during laparoscopic diagnostic and surgical procedures. The surgical lift device includes a gripping portion for contacting and holding an external skin surface adjacent the abdominal wall. The gripping portion is selectively detachable from the skin surface. The device further includes a lifting portion that extends outwardly from the gripping portion. In accordance with alternative embodiments, the gripping portion may comprise an adhesive sheet or a suction member and the lifting portion may comprise a wire member or a portion of a hook and loop-type fastener.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Ortiz, Stephen J. Failla, Jean-Pierre Kinet, Frederic Marie
  • Patent number: 5382252
    Abstract: An improved transvaginal uterine manipulator is disclosed. In the most preferred embodiment, it has an elongated housing, a releasable tip attached to the distal end of the housing, a handle lever to actuate means for pivoting the tip in anteversion and retroversion motions in such a manner that a direct positional relationship between the handle lever and tip exists, an arcuate tip position indicator, a tenaculum holder attached to the housing, a constant force spring attached within the elongated housing and to the holder for applying a constant force on a tenaculum held by the holder regardless of its position on the housing, a handle lever locking means to lock the position of the handle, and fluid delivery means through the tip to deliver fluid to the uterus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: Ethicon Endo-Surgery
    Inventors: Stephen J. Failla, Patrick J. Traini, Charles M. Rarey
  • Patent number: 5368600
    Abstract: An applier for applying a bulldog clamp endoscopically, and the combination of such an applier with a bulldog clamp, is disclosed. The applier has an endoscopic portion and a handle portion. The handle portion can be manipulated to open and close gripping arms of the applier at the distal end of the endoscopic portion to correspondingly open and close the clamping jaws of the bulldog clamp. The principle feature of the invention is the ability to pivot the clamp while it is gripped within the gripping arms of the applier without the necessity of using another instrument or adjacent bodily tissue. Furthermore, it is possible to perform this pivoting movement from the proximal end of the applier, therefore enabling a surgeon to pivot the clamp from outside the body during endoscopic surgery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Failla, Roger L. Hildwein, Peter Lau
  • Patent number: 5364410
    Abstract: Percutaneous suture externalizer devices are disclosed which grasp, secure and externalize sutures from within an abdominal or thoracic cavity. The suture externalizer devices include a thin tubular sheath with a penetrating point and a hook rod slidable within the sheath. The hook rod is slidable between an extended position and a retracted position. The hook rod is biased to the extended position. In the retracted position, a suture grasped within the hook is snugly held between the hook rod and the inner wall of the sheath, providing a positive means of securing the suture during externalization. An alternative embodiment utilizes a hollow tubular hook rod that can also be used to insufflate the abdominal or thoracic cavity. The alternative embodiment utilizes a valve to control the flow of gas through the hook rod, into and out of the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Failla, Charles M. Rarey, Michael J. Stokes
  • Patent number: 5224952
    Abstract: A safety trocar is provided which includes a spring-loaded shield that shields the cutting tip of the obturator after the obturator penetrates tissue. The distal end of the shield is hemispheric in profile and contains a slot which conforms to the geometry of the cutting tip. The rounded distal end enables the shield to spring forward to shield the cutting tip as soon as the tip perforates the tissue. A valve is located at the proximal end of the trocar tube to seal the end of the tube. The valve is oriented at an acute angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the trocar tube. The valve is controllable by an external lever which will hold the valve open or permit it to spring shut. An incremental advancement mechanism cooperates with the obturator to permit only incremental advance of the obturator. Instead of using a discrete shield component the shielding function may be provided by spring-loading the trocar tube itself to spring forward and shield the obturator tip after the tip penetrates tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1993
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose C. Deniega, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5215526
    Abstract: A safety trocar is provided which includes a spring-loaded shield that shields the cutting tip of the obturator after the obturator penetrates tissue. The distal end of the shield is hemispheric in profile and contains a slot which conforms to the geometry of the cutting tip. The rounded distal end enables the shield to spring forward to shield the cutting tip as soon as the tip perforates the tissue. A valve is located at the proximal end of the trocar tube to seal the end of the tube. The valve is oriented at an acute angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the trocar tube. The valve is controllable by an external lever which will hold the valve open or permit it to spring shut. An incremental advancement mechanism cooperates with the obturator to permit only incremental advance of the obturator. Instead of using a discrete shield component the shielding function may be provided by spring-loading the trocar tube itself to spring forward and shield the obturator tip after the tip penetrates tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1993
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose C. Deniega, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5128662
    Abstract: A collapsible, storable information display screen for use with an electronic information processing device is disclosed which alleviates many of the problems associated with the smaller display screens. The display screen, when in use, is assembled in an electrically interconnected, mechanically stable, predetermined array, and when not in use, may be disassembled from said array and collapsed for compact storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1992
    Inventor: Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5066288
    Abstract: A safety trocar is provided which includes a spring-loaded shield that shields the cutting tip of the obturator after the obturator penetrates tissue. The distal end of the shield is hemispheric in profile and contains a slot which conforms to the geometry of the cutting tip. The rounded distal end enables the shield to spring forward to shield the cutting tip as soon as the tip perforates the tissue. A valve is located at the proximal end of the trocar tube to seal the end of the tube. The valve is oriented at an acute angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the trocar tube. The valve is controllable by an external lever which will hold the valve open or permit it to spring shut. An incremental advancement mechanism cooperates with the obturator to permit only incremental advance of the obturator. Instead of using a discrete shield component the shielding function may be provided by spring-loading the trocar tube itself to spring forward and shield the obturator tip after the tip penetrates tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 19, 1991
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose C. Deniega, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 5006123
    Abstract: A marking device is provided for marking the sclera and/or limbus of a patient's eye to standardize and define incision location and suture placement prior to cataract removal, and to aid in the intraoperative control of astigmatism. The device comprises a generally arcuate body member having opposed major surfaces with a plurality of projections extending from one of the major surfaces. The body member has an inferior arc and a superior arc with the inferior arc having a smaller radius than the superior arc. The projections are radially aligned, extending from the major surface and are adapted to be inked and to transfer ink marks to the sclera and/or limbal area of an eye. The ink marks represent the locations where incisions and sutures are to be placed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1991
    Inventors: David B. Soll, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4976909
    Abstract: A tissue fastening device comprising (a) a fastener member having a pair of legs extending from the same side of a connecting cross piece, said fastener member adapted to be placed on one side of the tissue to be joined with the legs penetrating the tissue, said fastener member being an oriented crystalline polymeric material, whereby the fastener member has sufficient inherent strength and stiffness so said legs can penetrate the tissue to be fastened, and (b) a receiver member to secure said fastener member in place. The fastener member is formed by forming an oriented polymeric filament into the configuration of the fastener member, and annealing the filament while in such configuration while it is being restrained so as to prevent shrinkage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Dorband, Alfred Liland, Edgar Menezes, Peter Steinheuser, Nicholas M. Popadiuk, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4976722
    Abstract: A surgical hemostatic clip which afford substantially gapless closure includes a longitudinal groove formed in the tissue-contacting surface of one leg, and an opposing longitudinal tongue formed on the tissue-contacting surface of the other leg. In a preferred embodiment the longitudinal tongue and groove do not extend to the distal ends of the legs so as to provide distal flat surfaces on the tissue-contacting distal leg ends. Transverse grooves may be formed across the tongue and in intersection with the longitudinal groove to enhance the tissue-gripping characteristics of the hemostatic clip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4880017
    Abstract: A marking device and method of using it are provided for making the sclera and/or limbus of a patient's eye to standardize and define incision location and suture placement prior to cataract removal, and to aid in the intraoperative control of astigmatism. The device comprises a generally arcuate body member having opposed major surfaces with a plurality of projections extending from one of the major surfaces. The body member has an inferior arc and a superior arc with the inferior arc having a smaller radius than the superior arc. The projections are radially aligned, extending from the major surface and are adapted to be inked and to transfer ink marks to the sclera and/or limbal area of an eye. The ink marks represent the locations where incisions and sutures are to be placed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1989
    Inventors: David B. Soll, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4741336
    Abstract: A surgical instrument for joining tissue by means of a two piece fastener. The fastener is a shaped staple having a general shape of an M, and a receiver for engaging with the legs of the staple. The staple has an M-shape with the outer legs portions being non-parallel or parallel. The legs of the staple are connected by a compressibly resilient portion. The staple legs penetrate the tissue and engage and interlock with the openings in the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1986
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1988
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Failla, Carmen Gerrone
  • Patent number: 4693248
    Abstract: A fastener is provided to hold together portions of mammalian tissue and includes an open loop fastening member and a receiver with two passages for receiving the legs of the fastening member. The receiver defines a plurality of deformable projections spaced peripherally around the interior surface of each passage for being deformed as one of the legs is received in the passage to thereby effect an interference fit engagement and inhibit withdrawal of the leg from the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1987
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4671280
    Abstract: A tissue fastening device comprising (a) a fastener member having a pair of legs extending from the same side of a connecting cross piece, said fastener member adapted to be placed on one side of the tissue to be joined with the legs penetrating the tissue, said fastener member being an oriented cystalline polymeric material, whereby the fastener member has sufficient inherent strength and stiffness so said legs can penetrate the tissue to be fastened, and (b) a receiver member to secure said fastener member in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1987
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Dorband, Alfred Liland, Edgar Menezes, Peter Steinheuser, Nicholas M. Popadiuk, Stephen J. Failla
  • Patent number: 4606345
    Abstract: A surgical instrument for applying two-piece fasteners to join tissue. The instrument includes a stationary jaw and a movable jaw mounted on a support body. The movable jaw holds the staple portion of the fastener and the stationary jaws include friction means for holding the receiver portion of the fasteners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1984
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1986
    Assignee: Ethicon, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Dorband, Stephen J. Failla, John Kula