Frequently Asked Questions
Collatamp G is a biodegradable surgical "impact" made out of collagen, a natural substance found in the skin. The spongy material is saturated with gentamicin, a powerful antibiotic. In addition to being a powerful tool against infection, the collagen in Collatamp G makes it a natural "haemostat"—meaning it helps to stop bleeding.
Collatamp G is placed and left in your surgical site during surgery, where it helps stop bleeding, prevent infection and speed wound healing.
Collatamp G delivers a high dose of fast-release antibiotic directly at the site of risk, giving you antibiotic protection where it's needed, when it's needed.
As a natural substance, Collatamp G eventually dissolves and is fully resorbed by your body.
Collatamp G has been shown in clinical studies to reduce surgical site infections by more than 50%.3
Surgical site infections can be serious. If you develop one, you may have to stay in the hospital longer, and you're more likely to need intensive care.
If you get an infection after having a joint replaced, your surgeon may need to redo your surgery, meaning your new joint may not work as well. You may even need to have the joint replaced again.
And in serious cases, surgical site infections can be fatal.
During your surgery, your surgeon can place Collatamp G in your surgical wound.
Once there, it helps to stop bleeding, since collagen contains a protein that naturally helps your blood clot.
More importantly, Collatamp G also releases gentamicin, a powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic that helps prevent surgical site infections.
When your body has received the dose of antibiotics, the collagen breaks down. Because collagen is a natural part of skin, it is easily resorbed by the body.
The antibiotics that are used to prevent surgical site infections aren't absorbed well in the stomach or intestine.
Gentamicin, particularly, passes through your digestive system almost completely unchanged—which means you don't receive its infection-fighting benefits.
The antibiotics you'll get before and after surgery are called systemic antibiotics. This means they go into your bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) line and work throughout your entire body.
The limitation with systemic antibiotics is that sometimes the doses needed to fight the infection at the surgical site are high enough to have negative effects elsewhere in the body.
Also, many high-risk patients, such as people with diabetes and the elderly, have poor circulation, which prevents the systemic antibiotic from getting to where it is needed most.
Systemic antibiotics are still very useful but, in the case of high-risk patients, do not adequately ensure that the right amount of protection arrives at the right spot in the body.
Collatamp G is used in addition to standard systemic antibiotic therapy to ensure that a strong, localized dose of gentamicin gets right to the place where you've had surgery and where the risk of infection is greatest.
Because the gentamicin stays in one spot and doesn't travel throughout your body, you can receive a much more effective dose without experiencing side effects.
The higher dose of gentamicin in Collatamp G kills bacteria that are otherwise resistant to the antibiotic at lower doses achieved with systemic antibiotics.
As time goes on, antibiotics can stop working against certain types of bacteria. This means that the bacteria have evolved, and they've built up natural defences against the antibiotics' effects.
When this happens, the bacteria is said to be "resistant"—which means, even if you receive antibiotics, the bacteria could still make you sick.
The number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing, which is why hospitals are very strict about when and how they give you antibiotics.
This is also why it's important to have different ways to fight infections. The local-delivery approach of Collatamp G allows doses to be used that kill even antibiotic resistant bacteria.
No side effects have been reported to date from proper use of Collatamp G.
While Collatamp has been used successfully and safely in almost two million patients worldwide, it's specifically recommended for patients who are at high risk of developing a surgical site infection or undergoing a high-risk surgery.
Before your operation, you may want to discuss with your surgeon or surgical team whether you fit into one of these high-risk categories. If so, ask them whether Collatamp G is an appropriate addition to an infection prevention strategy in your specific case.
However, if you have a protein allergy or an intolerance to gentamicin, your doctor should not use Collatamp G.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, or if your kidneys don't function well.