Surgical staples were originally created to respond to the perceived problem of security against the leakage of blood or bowel contents. Leaks from poor sewing, or suturing, of the bowel were significantly linked to post-surgical mortality. Surgical staples are used to close skin wounds and to connect or remove internal blood vessels. The staples remain in the body when used to clamp blood vessels. In both cases, small pieces of metal may be left in the body, but should not cause any serious problems.
The circular staples are also known as EEA devices and are typically used for connecting one vessel to the side of a larger vessel. The medical term for this procedure is called end-to-end anastomosis. End-to-end anastomosis is performed after bowel resection. Bowel resection is a surgical procedure that removes a diseased part of the large intestine. The circular staples are used to close the wounds. According to the Science Direct website, circular staples can be used to perform cervical esophagogastric anastomosis after the removal of cancer cells in the area, instead of the typical hand-sewn method. Using the circular staples can result in shorter surgery time.
Laparoscopic staplers are long and thin as compared to circular staplers. They may be manipulated to allow for access from a restricted number of trocar ports, and are used during end-to-side anastomosis. The staples are injected into the patient's body tissue, during what is considered a minimally invasive surgery. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, laparoscopic staples have been used successfully during liver resection. They are also used after the removal of a kidney due to cancer, and commonly used for gastroplasty surgery.
Although stainless steel has been used for skin stapling and clips, titanium is more common for internal surgeries. Titanium is flexible, strong yet lightweight and is considered the metal of choice for most medical procedures. According to International Titanium Association, titanium causes less reaction in the immune system and can easily bind to bone and living tissue. Titanium staples are not totally made out of titanium as all surgical staples have some degree of nickel present. Therefore, patients who have an allergic reaction to nickel should discuss possible side effects with their surgeons.