Frequently Asked Questions

How does CorMatrix repair cardiovascular tissue?

The stem cells in our bodies can only remodel and regenerate if they have the proper environment that allows them to thrive and multiply.  This is also known as cell proliferation. This structural “bioscaffold” within our bodies supports and encourages cell growth, taking its cue from the surrounding cells to identify  different types of tissue. CorMatrix acts as a unique bioscaffold “patch” that helps heart and vascular tissue repair itself after surgery.

When sutured to the patient’s heart tissue during surgery, CorMatrix enables patients to naturally regrow their own cardiovascular tissue. The patient’s cells migrate into the material, restoring native tissue and the normal function of the heart. The cells gradually replace the implanted patch, which is reabsorbed over time. Thanks to CorMatrix’s unique properties, the result is normal, fully functional cardiovascular tissue instead of scar tissue or injured tissue.

What is the advantage of using CorMatrix?

CorMatrix leads to the growth of new, healthy, and functional cardiac and vascular tissue. Because CorMatrix is reabsorbed and replaced by native tissue, there is no foreign material left behind that may scar or cause an inflammatory response in the body. Synthetic materials and traditional surgical patches lack the performance characteristics of a tissue-based product and may elicit an inflammatory response, which can lead to scar tissue formation.

Are there any side effects to the procedure?

CorMatrix is derived from a naturally occurring extracellular matrix, a normal component of living tissue. Because it is a natural biomaterial that is reabsorbed and replaced by the patient’s own cells, minimal side effects attributable to the material have been reported.

How many patients have received CorMatrix ECM?

An estimated 500,000 manufactured extracellular matrix device materials have been in implanted for many applications of tissue repairs worldwide.  Over 135,000 CorMatrix implants have been completed since the product became commercially available for cardiovascular use in 2006.

How can I determine if I should have a CorMatrix implant?

If you have been told you need heart or vascular surgery, ask your doctor if you could benefit from the use of CorMatrix ECM.

What is CorMatrix made of?

CorMatrix is produced from porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS), a naturally occurring and harvestable extracellular matrix – the natural scaffold that assists cellular repair and regrowth. Careful manufacturing creates a de-cellularized material, but leaves the complex extracellular matrix intact. The material undergoes disinfection and a validated sterilization process making it safe for patient implantation.

How is CorMatrix used in open heart surgery cases?

CorMatrix is used as a patch to repair and restore heart and vascular tissue. During open heart surgery, the heart’s protective outer layer, the pericardium, is compromised. CorMatrix Pericardial Repair and Reconstruction allows the patient’s own cells to form a new pericardial layer to prevent scarring and the formation of adhesions between the heart and sternum. These adhesions can impair normal heart movement and function.  Using CorMatrix enables surgeons to re-establish this essential native anatomic structure. Other CorMatrix products allow surgeons to remodel major arteries, repair heart tissue defects, and stabilize CIEDs (cardiac implantable electronic devices) such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

Can my doctor use CorMatrix instead of plugs or synthetic patches?

CorMatrix is ideal for intracardiac surgery based on its ability to structurally support repairs and remodel tissue. In cases such as atrial septal defect repair, CorMatrix Cardiac Tissue Repair can be used to effectively close a hole and generate new, healthy tissue in lieu of using objects such as nitinol plugs or synthetic patches. Because CorMatrix is gradually replaced by native tissues as it remodels, there is no foreign material left behind.

Will CorMatrix help my bypass graft procedure?

CorMatrix Vascular Repair has proven effective for coronary bypass grafts, femoral artery bypass grafts, as well as the carotid, renal, iliac, and tibial blood vessels. Unlike synthetic or cross-linked materials, the strength and elasticity of CorMatrix is similar to normal tissue so it conforms to easily repair defects, and remodels into site-specific tissue, leaving no foreign materials behind.

What about for my pacemaker or defibrillator?

For patients with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIED) such as pacemakers and defibrillators, CorMatrix CanGaroo® Envelope creates a defined pocket that supports and reinforces the CIED. Its soft, supple edges enhance patient comfort, facilitate implantation, and simplify device removal for battery replacement, exchanges, or revisions.

Is CorMatrix ECM Safe for use with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

CorMatrix ECM products are MRI Safe in that they pose no known hazards in MR environments. Please refer to the Instructions for Use for confirmation of MR Safety associated with each specific product.