US 3913587 A
A surgically implantable device such as hydrocephalus shunt tubing or heart pacer lead which is designed to extend as a body grows. The tubing or lead has a center section which is loosely coiled within a surgically implantable capsule and is designed to be gradually pulled therefrom as needed.
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United States Patent Newash 1 Oct. 21, 1975  IMPLANTABLE EXTENDABLE MEMBER 3,089,210 5/1963 Ritter 174/135 X 3,598,128 8/1971 Chardack 1 128/419 P  Inventor Newash Sagmaw 3,623,484 11/1971 Schulte 128/350 R Mlch 3,683,890 8/1972 Beal 128/2 W Assigneez Dow Corning Corporation Midland 3,738,365 6/1973 Schulte 128/350 R Mich.
 Filed: Oct. 15, 1974 Primary ExaminerDalton L. Truluck pp NO I 514 544 Attorney, Agent, or FirmGordon Needleman Related US. Application Data  5821;312:2221? of Ser. No. 423,612, Dec. 10, 1973,  ABSTRACT A surgically implantable device such as hydrocephalus  US l28/3481 1 2 shunt tubing or heart pacer lead which is designed to  Int Cl 2 extend as a body grows. The tubing or lead has a cen-  Fie'ld R 3 51 ter section which is loosely coiled within a surgically implantable capsule and is designed to be gradually 128/404, 419 P, 3/1, 174/135, 24/71.], 71.2 pulled therefrom as needed  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 Cla|ms, 2 Drawing Figures 3,068,316 12/1962 Witt 174/135 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention'relates to-surgically implantable devices and more particularlyto devices which include elongated members such astubing or electrical conductors.
For some time it has been a common practice to implant lengths of tubing or lengths of electrical conductors within living bodies for various corrective purposes. For example, in the treatment of hydrocephalus, shunts are implanted to provide an artificial pathway for cerebro-spinal fluids from the brain to either the blood circulatory system or to the peritoneal cavity. Similarly in the use of heart pacers, electrically conductive members are used to transmit electrical energy from a power source to the heart. A particular problem has existed in the case of growing children when an elongated member has been implanted within their bodies. While devices such as telescoping interconnections have been suggested, to date none have been entirely satisfactory. The result has been the necessity for periodic surgical operations to extend the length of the implanted elongated member. Obviously, this is undesirable if it can be avoided.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of the present invention is to provide a surgically implantable device for transfer of fluids or energy between two separated parts of the body which device will accommodate growth of the body in which it is implanted. In accordance with this and other objects there is provided by the present invention a device comprising an elongated member designed to interconnect two separated parts of the body in which the device is to be implanted and a hollow capsule surrounding a midportion of the elongated member. Inside the hollow capsule a length portion of the elongated member which is substantially longer than the hollow in the capsule is accommodated and at least one end of the elongated member has a cross-sectional dimension which corresponds to the dimension of the opening in the capsule wall through which that end of the elongated member passes in a manner such that the elongated member is freely slidable through the capsule wall when tension is applied between opposite ends of the device. Thus, as the child grows the length portion of the member which is in the capsule is gradually pulled out of the capsule allowing, in effect, growth of the length of the elongated member. The elongated member can be either a hollow tube such as that used in a hydrocephalus shunt or alternatively, can be an electrically conductive element such as that used in a heart pacer lead.
Other objects and attendant advantages of the invention will become clear to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a surgically implantable variable length device made in accordance with the invention, and
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-section through the device of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate like parts throughout the figures thereof there is shown in FIG. 1 a surgically implantable expandable lengths device for transfer of fluids or energy having an elongated member 11 which may be either a hollow tube such as a hydrocephalus shunt or alternatively, may be an electrically conductive element such as a heart pacer lead. Surrounding the elongated member 11 is a hollow capsule 12 through which the elongated member 11 passes. The point of entry of the elongated member 1 1 into the hollow of the capsule 12 is designated by the letter A and the point of exit is designated by the letter B in FIG. 2. The length portion of the elongated member 11 which extends between the points A and B is substantially longer than the length of the hollow in the capsule 12. This length is preferably accommodated by coiling the portion of the member 11 within the hollow but other configurations such as zig-zags or serpentine folds may also be provided.
Preferably at both points A and B but in any case, at one of the points A and B the cross-sectional dimension of the elongated member 11 must correspond to the dimension of the opening in the capsule wall through which that end of the elongated member passes in a A manner such that the elongated member is freely slidable through the capsule wall when tension is applied between opposite ends of the elongated member 11. In this manner when tension is applied between the ends additional portions of the elongated member which were originally positioned between A and B are pulled from the interior of the capsule. Thus, as a body grows and the ends of the member 11 are placed in tension additional portions of the member 11 are pulled from the capsule causing the overall device in effect, to grow in length and accommodate such growth.
It must be understood that while in the preferred embodiment described above the elongated member has been referred to simply in terms of a tube or electrical conductor various types of valves, connectors, etc. may be applied to the ends thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. The entire device with the exception of electrically conductive elements is preferably made of silicone rubber although it should be understood that suitable reinforcement fabrics or tissue ingrowth means may be applied to the silicone rubber for added strength or maintenance of position of the deivce should that be surgically desirable.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention other than those described hereinabove will occur to those skilled in the art from a reading of the above. Therefore, it is to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
That which is claimed is:
l. A surgically implantable device for transfer of fluids or energy in an animal body, having tissue and fluids, the device formed of a material substantially inert to the tissue and fluids comprising;
a one piece elongated member designed to interconnect two separatedparts of the body, and
a hollow capsule having an inner diameter at least five times greater than the outer diameter of the elongated member surrounding a portion of said 1 wherein said elongated member is a hollow tube.
3. A surgically implantable device as defined in claim 2 wherein said surgically implantable device is a hydrocephalus shunt or part of such a shunt.
4. A surgically implantable device as defined in claim 1 wherein said elongated member contains an electrically' conductive element.
5. A surgically implantable device as defined in claim 4 wherein said electrically conductive element is a heart pacer lead.
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