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CYBERONICS, INC. LEAD MODEL 303 Back to Search Results
Model Number 303-30
Event Date 11/01/2012
Event Type  Injury  
Event Description

On (b)(6) 2012 it was reported that the patient was to have an initial implant that day, but the hospital only had 2 mm leads in stock and upon opening up the patient, it was found that he has a big vagus nerve. The surgeon attempted to implant the 2 mm lead but it was constricting the patient's nerve so it was removed and the patient was closed up. The patient was asked to stayed overnight at the hospital to have surgery the next day with a 3 mm lead that was being shipped to the hospital. The patient's wife did not want the patient to stay overnight and wasn't sure she wanted to risk him going through another surgery if the new lead does not fit. On (b)(6) 2012, it was reported that the patient underwent surgery again with a 3 mm lead. The surgeon noted that the vagus nerve was swollen from the previous surgery and due to the patient having a very large neck he was not able to get good enough exposure of the nerve to get the electrodes around the nerve. The patient was closed up again and sent home. The surgeon also noted that the two 3 mm leads he tried to use lost their coil form after trying to coil nerve.

Event Description

Additional information was received on (b)(6), 2012 when product analysis was completed on the returned leads. The condition of the returned leads was consistent with conditions that typically exist following manipulation of the leads. The patient stated that his voice is still raspy; he has to yell to be heard. The patient also mentioned that if he has a coughing fit, or laughs in a certain position, he feels like he is being chocked. The surgeon stated that he thinks the patient is too large and the leads will not fit. Although implant surgery is likely, it has not occurred to date.

Event Description

Additional information was received on (b)(6) 2013 when it was reported that the patient was scheduled for an ent evaluation. It was reported that the patient has left vocal cord weakness. Clinic notes dated (b)(6) 2013 were received which indicate that the patient has multiple medical problems including chf, dm, htn, copd, and cva ((b)(6) 2012) who presents to the neurosurgery clinic to be assessed for placement of a vagal nerve stimulator. The patient reported that over the past year, his seizures have progressed in frequency and severity with him now having multiple daily grand mal seizures; when his seizures first occurred, he notes he had one seizure per year. In (b)(6), the patient reports that the surgeon attempted to place a vns on two separate occasions but failed. The patient reports that his vagus nerve was too large which lead to the vns leads breaking each time. The patient has had dense hoarseness since the procedures. Due to the cross reactions between his aeds and cardiac medications, as well as the progressive nature of his seizures, the patient has been urged by his neurologist and cardiologist to have a vns placement attempted once more. Additional clinic notes were received from a visit with another surgeon who indicated that the patient has history of an mri showing evidence of a stroke involving a right artery. The patient is having progressively worsening frequency and severity of seizures refractory to current medications and has 2 failed vns placement attempts. It was stated that an assessment of the patient's vocal cords with an ent is needed as the nerve may be transected or permanently damaged. The patient was seen by an ent specialist on (b)(6) 2013 for evaluation of hoarseness and dysphagia. The patient's quality of voice was raspy and rough and the severity was moderate with a significant impact on voice quality or function. The hoarseness started 11/1/2012 after vns surgery. Associated manifestations are dysphagia, frequent heartburn, sore throat, and tobacco use. The patient feels like foods and liquids don't go down and get stuck, also chokes and coughs at times - all new since surgery. The dysphagia is in the lower throat and the patient feels like food sticks in the throat, has a "lump in throat sensation" and states that even swallowing air can give him a choking sensation. The event is moderately severe. Aggravating factors include swallowing liquids, swallowing saliva only, and swallowing solid food. Associated manifestations include frequent heartburn or indigestion, frequent or chronic hoarseness, frequent or chronic sore throat, neurological problems, and pressure sensation in throat. It was found that there was mobility reduced motion in left cord. The right vocal cord had normal mobility but the left vocal cord was limited. There was good approximation of vocal cord phonation but paresis of left vocal cord was suspected. The patient was referred for a barium swallow to evaluate swallowing issues. The operative notes from the (b)(6) 2012 surgery stated that the vagus nerve was exceptionally large comparative to average anatomy. The 2 mm lead was coiled around the nerve and after coiling it was noticed that the vagus nerve due to the extensive size was being strangulated by the lead placement. Due to the large diameter of the vagus nerve it was felt that the coil could not be kept in contact with the nerve without jeopardizing safety. At that point the procedure was aborted with the incision was copiously irrigated with antibiotic solution. The patient was noted to be morbidly obese. On (b)(6) 2013 it reported that the patient has been going to speech therapy and his voice is improving. The patient started speech therapy about 2 weeks prior and is seen 2 times per week for 2 hours. The patient underwent a modified barium swallow on (b)(6) 2013 and the notes from this visit indicate that the diagnosis was dysphagia and that the patient had left vocal cord weakness. The patient was noted to have a history of coronary heart disease, cva, diabetes, chronic back pain, obesity, and hypertension. The patient had resilient (l) side weakness from cva, gerd. The patient had decreased voice and reports coughing on liquids. Gerd was not observed during evaluation. The patient had aspiration throughout assessment. Oral and pharyneal phases of swallowing are normal. No aspiration with modified barium swallow under fluoroscopy.

Event Description

Additional information was received on (b)(6) 2013, when it was reported that a second surgeon told the patient he needed to see an ent (ear, nose, and throat) physician because the nerve might have been severed in the previous surgical attempt. The patient later reported that the second surgeon wants a veeg, ent evaluation, and or notes from the initial surgeon. The patient stated that he is still raspy, struggles to push out air and to be heard, when he touches the skin on the left side of neck to throat area, it feels numb. He also stated that if he laughs real hard or gets excited, he starts choking and may gag while drinking fluid, even on air. The patient stated that he has a history of choking on meat, but he thinks that is because he has no teeth.

Event Description

Additional information was received when the two 3. 0mm leads that the surgeon had tried to implant in the patient were returned to the manufacturer for product analysis. Product analysis is still underway and has not yet been completed.

Manufacturer Narrative

Brand name; corrected data: inadvertently listed "lead model unknown" instead of "lead model 303" on initial report.

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Brand NameLEAD MODEL 303
Type of DeviceLEAD
Manufacturer (Section D)
100 cyberonics blvd
houston TX 77058 770
Manufacturer (Section G)
100 cyberonics blvd
suite 600
houston TX 77058
Manufacturer Contact
nydia herzog
100 cyberonics blvd
suite 600
houston , TX 77058
MDR Report Key2845744
Report Number1644487-2012-03104
Device Sequence Number1
Product CodeLYJ
Report Source Manufacturer
Source Type Consumer,Health Professional,Company Representative
Reporter Occupation
Type of Report Initial,Followup,Followup,Followup,Followup
Report Date 11/01/2012
1 Device Was Involved in the Event
1 Patient Was Involved in the Event
Date FDA Received11/26/2012
Is This An Adverse Event Report? Yes
Is This A Product Problem Report? No
Device Operator LAY USER/PATIENT
Device EXPIRATION Date10/31/2016
Device MODEL Number303-30
Device LOT Number202265
Was Device Available For Evaluation? Device Returned To Manufacturer
Date Returned to Manufacturer11/29/2012
Is The Reporter A Health Professional? Yes
Event Location Other
Date Manufacturer Received02/12/2013
Was Device Evaluated By Manufacturer? Yes
Date Device Manufactured10/12/2012
Is The Device Single Use? Yes
Is this a Reprocessed and Reused Single-Use Device? No
Type of Device Usage Initial

Date Received: 11/26/2012 Patient Sequence Number: 1