History

Based on the main principles of mechanical stapling, (Table 1) Hultl from Budapest, Hungary, developed the first linear stapler in 1909 to close the remnant stomach during gastrectomies. The handling of that instrument was hampered by its weight and bulk. Petz, another Hungarian surgeon, and Friedrich and Neuffer from Germany created lighter and more convenient stapling instruments during the 1920s. Driven by the lack of surgeons after World War II, the Russian government encouraged the development of different mechanical devices for linear and circular stapling to help less well-trained surgeons to safely perform standardized surgical procedures, e.g., gastrectomies and bowel resections.

In the 1960s, the American surgeon Ravitch brought those instruments to the United States and focused on their improvement in terms of applicability and reliability. In partnership with industry, preloaded plastic cartridges, double-staggered staple lines, and different lengths of staple lines were developed. Since the mid-1970s, single-patient-use stapling devices have become widespread worldwide.

The success of minimally invasive surgery promoted the development of miniaturized stapling devices during the past decade; such devices are now used routinely in many different operations.

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