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June 19th, 2013

Hercules® 3 Stage Wire Guided Esophageal Balloon Launched as Newest Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Product from Cook Medical

Bloomington, Ind. — Cook Medical is making its Hercules® 3 Stage Wire Guided Esophageal Balloon available to otolaryngologists to treat patients with gastrointestinal (GI) strictures. The device will be offered through Cook’s Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) clinical division, while also continuing distribution directly to gastroenterologists through its Endoscopy clinical division.

GI strictures can interfere with eating, swallowing and digestion. They are treated endoscopically by passing a deflated balloon such as the Hercules into the strictured area, inflating the balloon to dilate the passage, and then deflating and removing the balloon. The balloon can also be used to open the lumen so that other procedures, such as biopsies or stent placement, can be performed.

Hercules 3The Hercules 3 Stage Wire Guided Balloon is available with a preloaded wire guide. The balloon is made with proprietary P.E.T. Flex™ technology, a material that combines tensile strength and flexibility. The Express Evacuation Catheter deflates the balloon when negative pressure is applied to the catheter with an inflation device.1   Even if clinicians begin the withdrawal process prior to complete deflation, Hercules can still be withdrawn through the scope.2

The Hercules balloon inflates to three distinct and increasing diameters, allowing the clinician to use a single dilator and reducing the need for multiple serial dilators.  Two radiopaque markers on the body of the balloon enhance visualization to aid balloon positioning, and glow-in-the-dark labels and simplified packaging aid in product identification and procedural efficiency.

“Hercules esophageal dilation balloons are my go-to tools for the controlled dilation of the esophagus through flexible and rigid instrumentation,” says laryngologist, Paul Castellanos, MD, FCCP – Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham. “In my experience with this product, there was minimal to no obscuring of the stricture dilated.”

Available to doctors internationally, the Hercules 3-Stage Wire Guided Esophageal Balloon is the latest minimally invasive innovation Cook is introducing to ear, nose and throat physicians and the patients they treat. In addition to focusing on esophageal dilatation procedures, Cook Medical OHNS provides products that are used to treat salivary ductal disorders, as well as products used for soft tissue repair and ultrasound-guided biopsy.
Dr. Castellanos has a professional services agreement with Cook Medical with respect to its medical devices.

About Cook Medical
Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery.  Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently.  We have always remained family-owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

1,2 Data on file at Cook Medical