5 Physical Problems Doctors Fix With Glue

Broken Breastbone
The breastbone break that's standard procedure for open-heart surgery can now be repaired with glue. © tanyaross71/iStock/Thinkstock

Patients undergoing open-heart surgery may find they're stitched back up with an innovative new technique: Surgeons are now repairing sternotomies -- breastbones intentionally broken during the heart procedure -- with glue. It not only reduces the pain post-op but also speeds up the healing process from weeks to hours.

When used along with sutures, 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate provides an additional 75 percent more strength to the wound closure than if the wound had been closed solely with sutures. Additionally, its antimicrobial qualities help fight against as many as 99 percent of unfriendly microorganisms during the critical first few days of healing [source: Ethicon].

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