Today's pessaries are precision-manufactured medical devices that provide pelvic organ support and that are used to treat a variety of gynecologic conditions, including prolapse. In years past, such devices were made of latex, which is relatively easy to work with, but - from the medical standpoint - contains proteins which can cause an allergic reaction.
As a result, medical product makers may now specify silicone, which offers clear-cut advantages for patients but represents a serious manufacturing challenge. "The silicone offers poor tear resistance compared to natural rubber,"
said Bernie Stritzke, Vice President and General Manager of MedPlast's facility here in Elkhorn. "The balloon section of the multi-piece product is thin, and has to be stretched and there are difficult de-molding transitions," he said, noting that the company made a special part to de-mold without over-extending the piece. "It's a process that requires great finesse."
It's also a process that requires complete mastery of each element of a complex, multi-stage process. "This is painstaking, time-consuming work that requires particular expertise in extruding, molding, assembling and more,"
Stritzke said. This Inflat-o-Ball(TM) pessary created by MedPlast for CooperSurgical, Inc. includes a molded part, a check ball and a glued-on silicone extrusion.
"The Inflat-o-Ball pessary is a unique device designed to manage complicated pelvic prolapse cases. Being able to provide this product without latex is an important advancement in patient care, as many patients using the product are exposed for extended periods of time, making those with latex allergies unable to receive this therapy.
The new silicone-based product eliminates this problem. Now this device is available to all in need," says Robert Auerbach, MD, Senior Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of CooperSurgical.
In the context of today's medical product market, the MedPlast pessary balloon is a valuable creation for healthcare practitioners and a blessing for patients, especially as the worldwide population ages. For those in the medical product supply chain, MedPlast's ability to create such a piece to such exacting specifications underscores the company's ability to handle the most demanding assignments, all under one roof.
"Not every customer needs such a confluence of technical abilities for their product," said Stritzke. "However, the light goes on when our customers see this piece - they know we can do it all, and better than anyone."
Far more than "just injection molders," the company has added extrusion blow molding and clean room injection molding and assembly to its core competencies to meet the needs of medical component manufacturers with production runs that might otherwise fall below the requirements of the general blow molding community.
For more information, visit the company online at http://www.MedPlastgroup.com.
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT