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Mazor Robotics Systems Guide Placement of Over 15,000 Spine Implants Worldwide October 31, 2011
More than 200 Successful Scoliosis Cases Performed in Leading US Medical Centers.
Mazor Robotics Ltd (tase:MZOR), the pioneer in innovative surgical robots and complementary products for spine surgery, announced that its clinically proven technology has been used to guide placement of more than 15,000 spinal implants, from routine to the most complex cases. Furthermore, in thousands of surgeries worldwide with Mazor Robotics systems there have been no reported cases of permanent nerve damage. This contrasts sharply to the current standard of care.
Mazor Robotics has developed the world's only robotic systems that provide surgical guidance for spine surgeries. According to published clinical data, Mazor Robotics' technology has been scientifically proven to increase the accuracy of spinal implants and significantly lower rates of misplaced screws and neurological deficits. For patients, this means fewer complications and revisions. More importantly, higher accuracy rates means that more people are able to live with less pain and debilitation, a reality made possible through the combination of Mazor Robotics' unique technology and the skill of the surgeons who use the system.
Following the success of its initial SpineAssist(R), Mazor Robotics recently introduced Renaissance(TM), its next generation system, which is both FDA cleared and CE marked. Renaissance(TM) is transforming spine surgeries from freehand procedures to highly accurate, state-of-the-art procedures, with less radiation -- even for minimally invasive surgery, scoliosis, and other complex spinal deformity cases....read more
Healthcare Futurist Jack Uldrich to Deliver Two Upcoming Keynotes on "Future Trends" and "Unlearning" October 31, 2011
Popular keynote speaker, healthcare futurist, and best-selling author, Jack Uldrich has been selected to deliver two separate keynote sessions at the first-ever Health. Inspired! symposium. The event, sponsored by United Healthcare, will take place on November 1, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Uldrich, who will be joined at the event by Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton; former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Joycelyn Elders; and Dan Buettner, author of "The Blue Zone," will discuss "Future Trends in Healthcare" and why "The Future Requires Unlearning."
The following day, Uldrich will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to keynote The Tennessee Hospital Association's annual conference. The title of his talk is "Why Future Trends in Healthcare Will Require Unlearning."
The presentations, which are based on Uldrich's two new books: "Higher Unlearning: 39 Post Requisite Lessons for Achieving a Successful Future" and "Unlearning 101: 50 Lessons in Thinking Inside-Out the Box," as well as his popular article, "The Top Ten Trends in Healthcare, Today" will begin by discussing how continued advances in information technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, genomics, regenerative medicine and social networking will radically transform healthcare in the decade ahead.....read more
Florida Hospital surgeon performs robotic surgery No. 5,000 Orlando Business Journal by Abraham Aboraya, Reporter. October 27, 2011 Posted: October 30, 2011
Florida Hospital’s Dr. Vipul Patel will perform his 5,000th robotic prostate removal surgery Oct. 27. Patel will be the first surgeon in the country to reach the milestone with the daVinci robot. Florida Hospital Celebration Health is currently using a Department of Defense grant to research doing telesurgery.
Video: Medical Director of the Global Robotics Institute at Florida Hospital, Dr. Vipul Patel shares his vision of the next steps of robotic surgery.
IU Surgeons Pilot New Approach to Reduce Incontinence After Prostate Cancer October 27, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- Men who undergo radical prostate surgery in the future may encounter fewer issues with incontinence thanks to research underway at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Chandru Sundaram, M.D., professor of urology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is leading the first study to test whether patients will benefit from having a biodegradable “sling” inserted during robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery.
The biodegradable sling, developed by Cook Medical in Bloomington, IN supports the bladder neck and urethra after the prostate is removed. Dr. Sundaram’s research monitors urinary problems in patients who have undergone complete prostate removal due to cancer, with 50 percent receiving a “sling” to support the bladder during the procedure and 50 percent receiving the current standard of care, which does not include a sling.
Researchers are testing to see if inserting a sling during surgery will help patients return to regular function sooner than patients without a sling. This randomized clinical trial focuses on minimally invasive, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) and also tracks the amount of time it takes for regular bladder function to return following surgery.....read more
HUNTLEY – Centegra Health System will host several free health lectures in November. October 27, 2011
Community members are welcome to hear physicians speak about help for hip pain, robotic and laparoscopic hysterectomy, headaches and living a healthier life with diabetes. Space is limited and light refreshments will be served during the lectures. To register, call 877-236-8347.
According to a Centegra press release, upcoming lectures are:
• Robotic and Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center – Huntley. Women who are considering hysterectomies have an alternative to the major surgery of the past. Robotic or laparoscopic hysterectomy offers women less pain, a faster recovery time and a smaller scar than traditional surgery. Hear patient testimonials and join Dr. Alissa Erogbogbo and Dr. Darby Murphy, obstetrician/gynecologists with Centegra Physician Care, as they speak about robotic and laparoscopic hysterectomy, which they are both specially trained to perform......
Thijs Meenink and his robotic eye surgery system (Photo: Eindhoven University of Technology/Bart van Overbeeke)
Robotic system designed to perform delicate eye surgery October 27, 2011
By now, many readers are probably familiar with the da Vinci robotic surgery system. It allows a seated surgeon, using a 3D display and hand controls, to operate on a patient using robotic arms equipped with surgical instruments. Not only does the system allow for more laparoscopic surgery (in which surgical instruments access the inside of the patient's body through small incisions, instead of one large opening), but it even makes it possible for the surgeon and the patient to be in separate geographical locations. Now, a researcher at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a similar system, designed specifically for operations on the eye.
PhD student Thijs Meenink created his robot with procedures on the retina and the vitreous humor in mind. Such eye surgery requires a particularly steady hand - something that surgeons tend to lose as they get older. Consisting of a previously-developed dual-joysticked "master" control unit and Meenik's two-armed "slave" robotic module, the system filters out hand tremors. This is achieved through its scaling down of the operator's hand movements. If the surgeon's hand were to twitch by a centimeter, for instance, the corresponding surgical tool would only twitch by one millimeter. This should result in surgeons being able to keep performing such procedures farther into their careers.
The robot's selection of needle-like instruments are only half a millimeter wide, and include forceps, surgical scissors and drains. They can be interchanged within seconds, which is an important consideration, as one eye operation can reportedly involve up to 40 instrument changes. Due to the precision made possible by the system, those instruments can also enter the patient's eye repeatedly in exactly the same spot, minimizing damage to the eye tissue. Meenik's system additionally provides haptic feedback through the joysticks. This means...read more
Robotic Surgery in Rectal Cancer: Hype or Next Best Thing? Posted: October 27, 2011
Vancouver, British Columbia—Is the use of robotics in rectal cancer surgery hype, equivalence or improvement?
That’s the question George Chang, MD, associate professor of surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and one of the country’s leaders in robotic colorectal surgery, addressed at the 2011 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) annual scientific meeting. He concluded that robotics in rectal cancer has been hyped. “Robotics still has many limitations,” Dr. Chang said. “There still are technical obstacles that remain before robotic techniques for rectal cancer can be more broadly applied.”
He noted, however, that the technology has the potential to someday improve on technical limitations associated with conventional laparoscopy. “It represents an option to enhance the surgical capability for minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer.”
Even if the technology improves, Dr. Chang does not expect robotics to fully replace conventional laparoscopy for rectal cancer. He predicts that robotic surgery will likely be used to cover gaps in the capabilities of laparoscopic rectal surgery, particularly in advanced cases and in obese patients or patients with distal disease....read more
ProPep Surgical™ Receives Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its ProPep Nerve Monitoring System™ October 25, 2011
The ProPep Nerve Monitoring System is the first, real-time nerve identification system specifically designed for use during robotic surgery
ProPep Surgical, LLC, a privately-held, Austin-based medical device company, announced today that It has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its System and Method for Laparoscopic Nerve Detection (application 11/745,505). This Notice allowed 20 claims and is the first Notice received on a series of patents the Company has filed or will be filing on their ground breaking ProPep Nerve Monitoring System.
The ProPep Nerve Monitoring System is the first, real-time nerve identification system specifically designed for use during robotic surgery. Fast, accurate and easy to use, the System aids a surgeon in identifying otherwise invisible nerves during minimally invasive robotic pelvic surgery. "Currently, surgeons rely on anatomic landmarks to identify these nerves during surgery. Unfortunately, these landmarks are not always reliable," according to Dr. Randy Fagin, Chief Medical Officer. "By helping the surgeon identify these nerves in real-time during the surgical procedure, the ProPep Nerve Monitoring System allows the surgeon to make a more informed decision about which tissue to selectively preserve or remove during an operation and as a result, potentially reduce the incidence of nerve damage related side effects such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction following robotic prostatectomy surgery."...read more
Live Broadcast SPIDER Surgery - Scarless Gallbladder Removal Date: November 3, 2011 Time: 4:00 PM Eastern
Less-invasive surgery is less-invasive to your life. That's the future of surgery. On Thursday, November 3 at 4 p.m. Eastern, watch a live webcast featuring the SPIDER Surgical System to perform a scarless, minimally invasive gallbladder removal from West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami, Florida.
Surgeon Juan Carols Verdeja, M.D., will perform the procedure. Benefits of SPIDER surgery may include a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery time, and a more appealing cosmetic outcome versus traditional laparoscopic surgery.
During the LIVE webcast, viewers are encouraged to send email questions to Dr. Verdeja. West Kendall Baptist Hospital, which opened for patient care on April 27, is a teaching hospital with surgical, emergency, maternity and diagnostic units. The hospital represents the first completely new, non-replacement hospital built in Miami in more than 35 years.
Click here to receive an email reminder when this program is ready for viewing.
Doctor challenges new PSA guidelines October 21, 2011
Prostate cancer surgeon urges men to get tested.
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The director of the new Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery has a bone to pick with the members of the United States Preventive Services Task Force . The task force is the respected panel that earlier this month recommended that healthy men no longer get the prostate antigen specific blood test for prostate cancer. Dr. Randy Fagin, a urologist and prostate cancer surgeon now heading up the robotic surgery institute, is horrified.
“In the era before PSA testing,” said Fagin, “patients were typically diagnosed at a point that either they were never going to die of their cancer or there was nothing we could do about their cancer. It didn't provide us a large opportunity to be able to cure those folks that sit in the middle. PSA testing provides us that opportunity.”
But the task force draft recommendation concludes that while PSA testing does save lives, that comes at too great a cost. The body argues that positive PSA results lead to far too many painful biopsies that can result in serious infections....read more
Image from prnewswire.com
HIFU All Hype? Understanding This Non-FDA-Approved Prostate Cancer Treatment October 21, 2011
Dr. David Samadi, robotic prostatectomy expert, helps patients read through the lines of HIFU as a prostate cancer treatment option.
Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, routinely encourages patients to explore all prostate cancer treatment options. Though he firmly believes in the success and benefits of robotic prostatectomy, he knows the decision for prostate cancer surgery does not come easy. "I want my patients to do their homework," he says. "This is a life-saving decision that demands as much research as possible."
With research, comes the daunting task of understanding the vast amount of information available. A quick Internet search for prostate cancer treatment yields hundreds of results. Treatment options and conflicting statistics abound. One such option is of particular concern to Dr. Samadi. HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) uses a rectal probe to deliver sound waves directly to the cancer in the prostate gland. The ultrasonic beam heats and destroys the cancerous tissue, which is then naturally expelled from the body. Used in the treatment of localized prostate cancer, this technique was recently touted in UroToday as a good alternative for men who are not surgical candidates – those who are over 65 or are obese....read more
Robotic surgery: another view October 20, 2011. By DR SYED NABEEL ZAFAR Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Karachi
I AM writing with serious disapproval and concern at the launch of da Vinci robotic surgery at the Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, Karachi. This is yet another prime example of how valuable and limited resources are mismanaged in our health care system.
Robotic surgery at this time is a luxury that we simply neither need nor can afford. When millions of people in Pakistan each year have no access to basic surgical care and hundreds of thousands die each year due to lack of surgeons and basic surgical facilities in the country, we must ask ourselves which avenues we should invest our money in?
We must appropriate our resources judiciously and not extravagantly. Where patients are not provided with essential medicines and they have to buy their own surgical sutures, where our public hospitals struggle to provide even clean bed sheets on hospital beds, how is this huge expense justified?
Robotic surgery has some benefit towards patient safety but what is its role in Pakistan? Its impact will be minimal and extremely cost-ineffective. We do not even have adequate hand-washing facilities in our surgical wards. There are numerous examples of low-cost and simple interventions that have an impact many times larger than that of what robotic surgery offers. The poor people of Pakistan for whom this intervention is being projected to cater for are the ones who are going to suffer the most because of this impractical investment.
Millions of Pakistanis will continue to die or be disabled by the lack of surgical care and this robot is not going to make a grain bit of difference. It is not what the population of Pakistan needs and the government has to be blind or heavily influenced not to realise this.
First Single-Incision Robotic Surgery Performed on Left Colon October 19, 2011
Landmark single-incision robotic surgery on the left abdomen has been used for the first time to perform a left hemicolectomy.
Surgeons at George Washington University Hospital (GWUH; Washington DC, USA) performed the surgery using a single four-centimeter incision around the umbilicus. The surgeons used the DaVinci system, a product of Intuitive Surgical (Sunnyvale, CA, USA), to perform a medial to lateral approach with extra corporeal resection and anastomosis. At the beginning of the case, the robotic arms were crossed, and in the console the hand designations were switched so that the right and left hand controls were reversed, affording better control of the instrumentation.
While conventional laparoscopic surgery typically requires four incisions and a four-day hospital stay, single-incision robotic surgery involves less pain, fewer chances of postoperative problems--such as infection--and a shorter recovery period. The robot's three-dimensional (3D) view simulates normal vision, enabling the surgeon to see around structures more easily and avoid damaging the ureter, spleen, and major blood vessels. The robot also offers more stability, dexterity, and triangulation, allowing optimal manipulation of the tissue. The surgery was performed on August 22, 2011....read more
Nursing professor Bonnie Molloy at Fairfield University has studied how the head-down position during robotic or laparoscopic surgery can lead to blindness and has developed a program to reduce the risk. Photograph by MARK MIRKO | firstname.lastname@example.org. (MARK MIRKO, Hartford Courant)
A Quest To Prevent Post-Surgery Blindness October 19, 2011
Fairfield Nurse Has Devised Ways To Measure And Relieve Eye Pressure During Operations.
Waking up blind after surgery sounds like a nightmare. A Connecticut nurse is researching why it sometimes happens, and how to prevent it.
Bonnie Molloy, a clinical faculty member at Fairfield University's School of Nursing, has spent five years researching the phenomenon. When a patient is placed head-down in what's known as the steep Trendelenburg position, Molloy said, it can cause the patient's intraocular pressure — caused by fluid in the eye — to increase to dangerous levels.
"It increases pressure on the back of the optic nerve and can cause permanent blindness," said Molloy, who is also the chief certified registered nurse anesthetist in the Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates practice at Bridgeport Hospital.
"Patients have woken up blind," she said, adding that in most of those cases, patients were in the steep Trendelenburg position.
Placing a patient head-down allows better access to the organs and the position is commonly used for prolonged procedures during lower robotic and laparoscopic surgeries, which can take hours to complete.
Robotic surgery is fairly new, so the risks involved with it are as well. Numbers are hard to come by as a result, but Molloy estimates more than 2,000 people have become blind because of surgery.
Molloy's research provides an observation scale to help predict how dramatically the patient's intraocular pressure will increase, and how to reduce that pressure. Known as the Molloy/Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates Observation Scale, or MBOS, the scale measures the swelling of eyelids, swelling of the inner lining of the eyelids and bruising around the eyes — all of which Molloy's research has shown are indicators of increasing pressure in the eyes....read more
Veronica Valenzuela, a scrub nurse at City of Hope in Duarte, shows one of the EndoWrist surgical instruments that's part of the Da Vinci robot. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times)
Robotic surgery grows, but so do questions October 17, 2011. By Amber Dance, Special to the Los Angeles Times.
The Da Vinci system is now in 2,000 hospitals. But there's concern that hands-on surgery still has advantages.
These days, some surgeons have four arms and are made of metal and plastic. Use of a robotic assistant called the Da Vinci Surgical System has quadrupled in the last four years, and the machine now helps with incisions and sutures in 2,000 hospitals around the world. Da Vinci is a multi-purpose robot — the only one of its kind — that can scrub in on heart bypass and valve repair operations, hysterectomies, prostate removal surgeries and other procedures.....read complete story
New Nicholson Center positioned for global health impact October 16, 2011
The growing demand for training surgeons in robotic surgery and other new surgical procedures led to this month's opening of the expanded Nicholson Center at Florida Hospital Celebration Health.
The new $35 million, 54,000-square-foot training facility is more than 10 times the size of the original one that opened a decade ago. The expansion features two large simulation-training centers, lecture rooms equipped with video conferencing, 25 surgical suites and a clinical lab equipped with eight surgical robots, each costing $1.8 million.
Since the original center opened in 2001, it has trained more than 40,000 physicians. The new center will easily accommodate 20,000 in the first year, said Rick Wassel, center administrator. He plans to position the facility as a global leader in surgical training.
"When you consider the use of technology such as tele-mentoring and online initiatives, training 100,000 a year is not out of the question," he said. The center already has bookings into the fall of 2012.
"Given that Orlando is a top destination for health conferences, creating a center like this here made sense," Wassel said. Orlando hosted more medical meetings in 2010 than any other destination in the country, according to Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association, and the city has been the top healthcare meeting location for the last decade.
The human model
Among the first to use the new clinical laboratory were 25 surgeons and surgical assistants from across the country who gathered last week to learn a new, minimally invasive, robotic lung-surgery procedure.
Under the instruction of Dr. Robert Cerfolio, a thoracic surgeon from the University of Alabama, they practiced performing "robotic pulmonary lobectomies" on cadavers in the robotic laboratory....read more
Robots that save lives Posted: October 14, 2011. source: king5.com
It's something we used to only see in movies but technology has advanced to the point that robotics are literally saving lives today. Dr. Michael Wong from Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett gives us a first-hand look at the incredible da Vinci robot, which has become a huge game changer in the way doctors perform surgeries and how patients recover.
There are three great events coming up where you can check out the da Vinci robot for yourself, and even take it for a "test drive":
Saturday, October 15, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Hands-On Health Fair
Providence Cymbaluk Medical Tower
1700 13th Street, Everett
Tuesday, October 18, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
da Vinci Robot Seminar
Skagit Transit Station, Meeting Room
105 E. Kincaid
Wednesday, October 19, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
da Vinci Robot Seminar
Whatcom Community College
237 W. Kellogg Road
Chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation Stephen Greenberg, left, poses with prostate cancer survivor Archie Cogan at a foundation fundraising announcement Thursday.
Cancer technology drive now $2M closer to goal October 14, 2011
Ottowa Hospital Foundation hopes to raise $5 million by Christmas to buy superior surgical system.
When Archie Cogan was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a friend told him his best chance of survival was to go to Detroit and pay $35,000 US to have a surgeon remove it with the help of a robotic tool. “I spoke to the Ottawa doctors and they said, based on their statistics at that point, they couldn’t blame me if I wanted to go to the states,” said Cogan.
But soon, Ottawans like him will be able to stay home and get the same advanced surgery at the Ottawa Hospital. Fundraisers with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation announced Thursday they have raised more than $4 million of the $5 million needed to buy a da Vinci Surgical System — the same tool Cogan’s US surgeon used in his successful operation.
The friend who suggested Cogan take the expensive trip to Detroit was fundraising chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Stephen Greenberg, who had done the same surgery in the U.S. when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Greenberg announced Thursday he is donating $1 million towards the purchase of the da Vinci through his family foundation....read more
Local students become robotic surgeons for a day October 13, 2011
Some 20 to 30 young men and women from area inner-city schools recently became robotic surgeons at Baptist Medical Center downtown.
Explorer Scout Post 1903 was started by Baptist Health System to encourage high school students to enter the medical field. It was the first health careers Explorer Scout troop in San Antonio.
The students, dressed in scrubs, received hands-on training in minimally invasive robotic surgery on a robot typically used to train physicians in the practice of robotic surgery.
Baptist Medical Center is the only teaching center for robotic surgery in South Texas. Robotic surgeon Dr. Jose Garcia showed the students how it's done....read more
India’s first robotic liver transplant successful October 13, 2011
In the first such surgery in India, doctors at a hospital near here have performed a robotic liver transplant to save the life of a four-year-old child. Doctors say it is only the third operation of its kind in the world.
The surgery was conducted last month at the Medanta Medicity hospital in the national capital’s Gurgaon suburb in Haryana, doctors said here Thursday.
The Da-Vinci robot was used by the doctors on Rahmatullah, 36, who donated 20 percent of his liver to his nephew Ziad, whose organ had turned cancerous and had to be removed.
“Robotic surgery is usually performed for kidney, heart and gynaecological operations. But it’s use in liver transplant not only increased the precision but also reduced surgery-related troubles,” said Medanta Liver Institute chairman A.S. Soin, who led the team of surgeons.
Ziad, who was living with his parents in Oman capital Muscat, was suffering from tyrosinemia, a rare genetic disorder due to which the liver is unable to digest proteins.
“Even when Ziad developed rickets, which is one of the symptoms of this disease, the doctors were not able to diagnose his condition,” said Neelam Mohan, Medanta’s director of pediatric gastroenterology....read more
Ignorance is Not Bliss: PSA Test Saves Men's Lives from Prostate Cancer
NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This week we await the official no-PSA recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), but the backlash is well underway. Based on concerns that further testing and even treatment may cause more harm than good, the panel of primary care physicians plans to advise all healthy men to avoid annual PSA screenings for prostate cancer.
In press and public outcry, it's plain to see that both sides of the fence are well populated in this debate. One of the primary arguments against screening is the test's inability to distinguish between very common, benign prostate cancer and more serious, advanced prostate cancer. Further, there is substantial belief that prostate cancer is an inevitable disease for men, that by the time men are in their sixties 70% may already have it. The task force believes that for most, prostate cancer is so small and meaningless that they should let the sleeping giant lie.
But if you ask those men with cancer they may disagree, those who know they have it and those who don't know. "In just the past few days I've met with many men who are concerned about the panel's call," says Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "If insurance companies start listening, these men fear they'll lose their right to testing and they'll spend their lives worrying and wondering."
Though insurance companies and Medicare are not required to act on recommendations from the Department of Health panel, they often do, which could mean the test will no longer be covered. "These physicians have just made our jobs much harder," says Dr. Samadi, "We're no longer just fighting prostate cancer; we're fighting misguided government guidelines."....read more
Rick Wassel, Nicholson Center Administrator
Nicholson Center Opens Institute for Global Training October 11, 2011
CENTRAL FLORIDA , USA – The Nicholson Center opened its new 54,000-square-foot facility that brings together physicians, clinical industry leaders and researchers to advance technology in the latest minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques.
As the world’s largest facility solely dedicated to physician training, the Nicholson Center is expected to train more than 20,000 clinical learners from around the world each year to use the most advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques. As more patients are becoming educated on advancements in surgery, more are demanding that their physicians perform minimally invasive procedures that reduce hospital stay and increase precision.
Featuring the World’s Advanced Medical Technology The new Nicholson Center facility is the first of its kind and features some of the world’s most advanced medical technology, including six daVinci robots, over 40 fully-equipped endoscopic surgical stations, two 935 square-foot team training operating rooms, a medical simulation and robotics center of excellence and an Innovation & Technology Accelerator.
The Nicholson Center has more surgical stations and trains more physicians on the daVinci robot than any other location worldwide and instructs physicians how to best use this technology to increase the quality of care for their patients....read more
Intuitive Surgical Reports New Employee Option Grants for October 2011 October 11, 2011
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. today reported that equity awards approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors, which consists entirely of Independent Directors, were made to 57 new employees.
Pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4), the equity awards were granted under the Intuitive Surgical, Inc. 2009 Commencement Incentive Plan, which the Board of Directors of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. adopted for the granting of equity awards to new employees.
In accordance with NASDAQ rules, these grants were made under an equity incentive plan without shareholder approval. NASDAQ rules require a public announcement of equity awards to be made under this type of plan. 57 employees were granted options to purchase an aggregate of 23,712 shares of the Company's common stock.
The options vest over four years and expire in 10 years assuming continued employment. No officers received any award under this plan. The exercise price for the option shares granted is $364.45, which was the closing price of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.'s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market as such price was reported by NASDAQ on October 7, 2011.
The Company's policy is to issue stock option grants to new employees on the fifth business day of every calendar month. This announcement complies with the applicable NASDAQ rule requiring disclosure of such an inducement grant....read more
Photo courtesy of Mercy General Hospital
Nurses Round Out Robotic Team That Completes Mini-fellowship Posted: October 11, 2011
Mercy General Hospital's cardiac robotic team — including four nurses — is the first in the nation to complete the mini-fellowship program of the International College of Robotic Surgery, according to the Sacramento, Calif., facility.
The mini-fellowship is a product of ICRS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to a "total team approach" in advancing minimally invasive techniques using robotic instrumentation. The ICRS offers training in both intracardiac and revascularization surgery using the da Vinci robot platform.
The team, part of the Mercy Heart & Vascular Institute, includes four nurses and three surgeons. The Mercy team devoted approximately 12 months to complete the mini-fellowship.
Pietro Valdastri (John Russell/Vanderbilt)
Bioengineer Pietro Valdastri comes to the U.S. to build robots to make medical procedures easier
The prospect of a colonoscopy is about as unwelcome as a root canal, so it's no surprise that it's difficult to convince people to get regular screenings for colon cancer. But what if you could replace this uncomfortable procedure by swallowing a robotic capsule the size of a multivitamin?
On the first day of classes, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Pietro Valdastri's office was full of boxes and his lab was "almost an empty room." Valdastri, his wife and their 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter arrived in Nashville from Pisa, Italy, just three weeks earlier, and he was still settling in. Valdastri came to Vanderbilt from the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, where he earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and went on to become an assistant professor of industrial bioengineering. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pisa.
"My real focus, from the beginning of my studies, was to do something related to medicine but from a technical, engineering point of view," he said. His lab, the STORM (Science and Technology of Robotics in Medicine), will pursue the development of capsule robots to aid in the detection and treatment of colorectal disease and the development of robotic tools for single-incision laparoscopic surgery. Endoscopic capsule cameras have been used in the United States for about a decade, but because they are passive devices, they haven't been able to replace colonoscopies completely. Valdastri hopes to change this with a capsule robot that not only carries a camera, but also can stop, change direction, look around and even take samples.
An early version of this device looked like a cross between a Swiss Army knife and an insect: bristling with instruments and 12 tiny legs to hold the intestine open and crawl through, taking samples and wirelessly transmitting images to doctors. "It was pretty effective, but the problem was that it requires a lot of energy to work and the parts are really fragile." So Valdastri and his team turned to magnets to provide locomotion.
The next capsule carried a strong magnet that Valdastri could manipulate with another magnet outside the body. A bright light illuminated the capsule within the body, so Valdastri's team could track it as it moved through the body and see how it responded to the magnetic steering controls. However, the capsule could get stuck in the folds of the intestine - a problem that doctors currently avoid by inflating the intestine with air during a traditional colonoscopy. He calls his current capsule a "front-wheel-drive colonoscope." This model can't be swallowed and still requires a cord - through which doctors can thread their biopsy tools and an air supply - but the cord is much thinner than the traditional semirigid endoscope. And because the camera is pulled rather than pushed from behind, it's more comfortable - or at least less uncomfortable - for the patient. "This really has the potential to replace flexible colonoscopy," Valdastri said. The next step is for him to apply for an NIH grant to translate the technology for clinical trials.
Two wireless projects in the works are swallowable, magnetically controlled capsules that can take biopsies and apply clips to intestinal bleeds, both procedures that currently require an endoscope. Valdastri hopes to scale down the biopsy capsule even further for diagnosing conditions such as celiac disease in children.
Valdastri's other research interest is laparoscopic surgery. Currently, laparoscopic surgery requires at least three incisions - one for the camera and two for the instruments. Valdastri has developed a capsule camera with a very thin cord that can pass through one of the instrument incisions. Using a magnet outside the body, Valdastri can manipulate the orientation of the camera, providing a panoramic view of the gastric cavity.
The next step is to develop a way for robotic instruments and the camera to share one incision. "The idea is to have a complete surgery from a single entry point," he said.
da Vinci Robot Dance Video
Da Vinci's revolutionary tools are teaching surgeons some new moves. So, if you or someone you love needs a hysterectomy, prostate or kidney removal, ask your doctor about the robot. His micro-moves will have you back on your feet in no time!
Tuesday, October 11
Vascular Disease Lecture
Winthrop-University Hospital’s Perspectives in Health series will offer a free seminar for the public, “When is No Surgery the Best Surgery? A Vascular Surgeon’s Perspective on Vascular Disease” at 7 p.m. at Winthrop’s Community Outreach Center, 101 Mineola Blvd. George L. Hines, MD, will provide an overview of abdominal aneurysms, lower extremity vascular disease, and carotid stenosis (a narrowing of the carotid artery) and discuss the risks versus the benefits of surgery to treat these conditions. Attendees will gain an understanding of when someone may benefit from surgical intervention, and why no surgery is sometimes the best option. A question and answer period will follow the lecture. Attendees are asked to arrive at 6:45 p.m. for registration. Parking and the entrance are available in the rear of the building. Seating is limited and preregistration is required. To reserve a space, call 516-663-8300.
Thursday, October 20
Free Women’s Wellness Lecture
Winthrop-University Hospital’s Women’s Wellness Initiative, “Inspiring Women,” will offer a free program, “Does Your Bladder Have You Down? Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse,” at 6 p.m. at the Winthrop Community Outreach Center, 101 Mineola Blvd. George Lazarou, MD, will discuss an “Update on Female Urinary Incontinence,” focusing on the evaluation and treatment of the condition. Peter Finamore, MD, will discuss “Treatment Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Mesh and Nonmesh Repairs.” Dr. Finamore will include an explanation of robotic surgery. A question and answer period will follow the lectures. Attendees are asked to arrive at 5:45 p.m. for registration and to park in the rear of the building. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Call 516-663-9761 to reserve a seat.
Sacrocolpopexy - Minimally Invasive Treatment Options via da Vinci Robotic Surgery Posted: October 8, 2011
Recent advancements in minimally invasive surgical technologies mean that savvy patients have options other than conventional surgery. San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center has invested in the latest, most precise technology - the da Vinci Robot Surgical System, an exciting new treatment option in minimally invasive surgery for conditions including vaginal or uterine prolapse.
What is a Sacrocolpopexy? Sacrocolpopexy is a procedure used to support the vaginal vault by affixing it to the periosteum of the sacrum following a hysterectomy. It is also used for treating and correcting Vaginal Vault Prolapse or Uterine Prolapse with excellent results.
Sacrocolpopexy refers to suspending and/or supporting the vagina via a ligament on the sacrum. If a sacrocolpopexy is performed laparoscopically or robotically, we consider it to be minimally invasive reconstructive surgery of the pelvis. Prolapse of the vagina is a condition in which some of the inside vaginal walls are falling down. Behind these inside walls can be bladder, small bowel or rectum and the uterus can also be in a state of descent. Often the repair is performed through the vagina, with incisions in the vagina, with or without the placement of mesh. In patients with severe prolapse, failed previous vaginal repairs or younger patients, a sacrocolpopexy is often preferably performed. Uterine prolapse also refers to a condition in which internal organs are not properly aligned and cause patient discomfort over time.
In sacrocolpopexy, the patient’s vagina will be surgically approached from an abdominal view. A mesh is attached to the top of the vagina, and extended to the front (underneath part of the bladder) and the back of the vagina, like the top portion of a Y. The lower part of the Y shaped mesh will be attached towards the right side of a ligament on the sacrum. The da Vinci surgical system offers a new way to approach this surgery through the use of a sophisticated robotic system, and therefore minimally invasive for the patient. Prolapse (or falling) of any pelvic floor organs (vagina, uterus, bladder or rectum) occurs when the connective tissues or muscles in the body cavity are weak and can not hold the pelvis in its natural position.....read more
Microchip technology expert Gregory Auner works on more than a half-dozen projects through a collaboration of the Henry Ford Health System Innovation Institute and Wayne State University College of Engineering
New think tank in Detroit to develop medical marvels October 7, 2011
The next major innovations in medicine could be on the drawing boards in Detroit, including a bra with ultrasound that can detect breast cancer and a miniature wireless pump to help millions of Americans with failing hearts.
The medical inventions are among more than dozen in development at the new Henry Ford Health System Innovation Institute, a think tank for creating medical products opening Monday on Henry Ford's Detroit campus.
The institute is another piece of the biomedical and biotechnology research corridor growing in Detroit's Midtown and New Center areas. It unites Detroit medical and biotechnology researchers at Henry Ford and Wayne State University with engineering, design and medical students from a half-dozen area schools.
A pilot program with Detroit's College for Creative Studies unleashed 15 design students at two Ford hospitals to look for new ideas. Some of their suggestions are being developed into prototypes, including a wearable, touch-activated communications system for hospital personnel.
Mike Forbes expected to use the degree he's finishing at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to design footwear, cell phones or automotive products.
Instead, Forbes, 27, of Livonia is creating a new surgical tool that will be tested soon in operating rooms.
On Monday, a prototype will be on display at the opening of the new Henry Ford Health System Innovation Institute. The institute, funded with $12 million over the next 2 1/2 years, adds to the growing presence of biomedical and biotechnology companies in Detroit's Midtown and New Center neighborhoods.....read more
NEW YORK, NY, Oct 07, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX)
U.S. Panel Says No to Prostate Screening for Healthy Men Press Release; October 7, 2011
Dr. David Samadi, Leading Prostate Cancer Expert, Deeply Concerned by Impending PSA Test Recommendation From U.S. Preventative Task Force.
(MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- "Today, it feels we are taking a huge medical leap backward," says Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Samadi's comment comes on the heels of front page news in the New York Times that the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) intends to release official guidelines next week against the use of the PSA blood test for healthy men of any age. "For many urologists and prostate cancer treatment experts worldwide, it's shocking," says Dr. Samadi. "We've worked tirelessly to teach men how important this test is."
The PSA, prostate-specific antigen test, is currently recommended on an annual basis for men beginning at age 50; for high-risk men, African Americans or those with a family history, it's age 40. "The test is our single best tool for detecting prostate cancer," stresses Dr. Samadi. "It is not perfect, but without it we have nothing. There is significant evidence that early prostate cancer detection and treatment saves lives, particularly in younger men." Dr. Samadi also believes that the PSA velocity, the trend of a man's PSA level over the years, is the best tool for evaluating the cause of PSA level spikes.
The USPSTF is basing its recommendation on five clinical trials, stating that PSA screening does not save lives and leads to further testing and treatments resulting in negative side effects such as.......read more
Micro Hand A--China's bet in robotic surgery
Image from SurgRob
Micro Hand A has been developed jointly by Tianjin University, Nankai University and Tianjin Medical University General Hospital. The first animal trials were conducted July 2010 in the university hospital, and since then, it is said to be deployed in some local hospitals.
Further patrners are the Southern Medical University, Computer Research Institute of Surgery by the Southern Medical University, South China University of Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, National Defense University and Waseda University in Japan. The first phase of research was realized with 10 million yuan investment. They claim to be 3 years from becoming market-ready.
Fox Chase Researchers Identified a Fast and More Accurate Treatment Delivery for a Robotic Radiosurgery System October 5, 2011
MIAMA BEACH, FL – Radiosurgery is a non-invasive medical procedure in which focused beams of high-energy X-rays target tumors and other abnormalities in the body.
A single large dose of radiation is capable of ablating a lesion that might not be amenable to surgical removal. However, some radiosurgery systems, such as the CyberKnife (CK), can be relatively time-consuming because the treatment planning requires the delivery of up to several hundred cone-shaped beams to adequately cover an irregularly shaped tumor.
But a new study from Fox Chase Cancer Center now reports that there is an alternative to the conventional CyberKnife treatment delivery system. This new technique uses a multileaf collimator (MLC) and can flexibly sculpt a single radiation beam to match the exact contour of a tumor––significantly reducing the treatment time and minimizing the amount of radiation to the neighboring tissues.
Jiajin Fan, PhD, a radiation oncology physicist at Fox Chase, presented the study at the 2011 American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 2.
In the study, Fan and his team compared treatment plans created with the CyberKnife MLC (CK-MLC) delivery device to the original IRIS cone collimator device, and to Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) plans, which also precisely shapes radiation beams to conform to the shape of a tumor.....read more
Intuitive Surgical Rewards Investors As It Revolutionizes Surgeries Worldwide October 3, 2011
Too often in the investment world people are forced to choose between their ethics and profits. Exxon Mobil (XOM) offers stability, but in doing so, it often does untold damage in the areas of its operations. First Solar (FSLR) offers investors an ethical choice, but its stock chart will leave few investors smiling. However, we think that if a company can do good things for the world and do so profitably, it is a company worth investing in. And we would like to highlight just such a company.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) is a leading medical device company based in the United States that manufactures the da Vinci robotic surgery system, which lets surgeons perform complex procedures with minimal invasiveness, improving hospitals' financial conditions and patient health. Since its IPO in 2000, the company's stock has trounced the S&P 500, rising nearly 1,900% as the S&P lost nearly a quarter of its value. And we think shares have more room to rise, given the company's business prospects.
The da Vinci system provides Intuitive with a steady stream of maintenance revenue that runs in the hundreds of thousands annually, giving the company a steady stream of income as it works to expand the da Vinci's use. On the company's most recent conference call, CEO Gary Guthart noted that "procedures grew approximately 30% over the second quarter of 2010. We sold 129 da Vinci Surgical Systems, up from 108 during the second quarter of last year, and 99 of which were purchased by U.S. customers."...read more
KIMS becomes the first hospital to do robotic colorectal surgery in India October 3, 2011
Surgeons at KIMS have done a rare surgery called robotic colorectal surgery for the first time in India, using robotic help to do the surgery. Within four months since KIMS piloted South India's first robot assisted surgeries at a whopping investment of Rs.10 crore, more than 40 robotically assisted surgeries have been performed among all the specialties put together.
Robotic assisted surgery is used for colon and rectal problems because the surgeon has a better view of the pelvic area and can spot diseased areas much more precisely. Robotic-assisted surgery allows the surgeon to keep more of the colon intact, reducing the need for a colostomy.
A colostomy is an incision (cut) into the colon (large intestine) to create an artificial opening or 'stoma' to the exterior of the abdomen. When procedures are performed in this minimally invasive fashion, many patients are able to avoid the need for a colostomy and the chances are much higher that sexual function and bladder control will be preserved, greatly improving the patient's quality of life.
The surgical team who conducted the surgery comprised of the Dr Surya Nalamati, senior surgeon, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit USA; Dr M B V Prasad, consultant surgical gastro enterologist; Dr Ravichander, surgical oncologist; and Dr Lakshmikanth, surgical gastro enterologist of KIMS Hospital.
KIMS Hospital initiated a drive in June 2011 to use the robot-assisted technology in a bid to benefit and save patients suffering from plethora of problems like urology (prostate, kidney, and urinary bladder) and gynaecology surgeries and subsequently add other specialties such as ENT, cardiac surgery, gastro intestinal surgery and liver resections.
Robotic Assisted Surgery was introduced in association with Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI), Michigan, USA of Vattikuti Foundation, a major global player in propagating the concept of Minimally Invasive Research with a specific focus in robotic surgery.
To take robotic surgery to the next level, robotic surgery institutes are established globally. Similarly it associates with KIMS to set up South India's first robotic facility. VUI has performed over 6000 robotic surgeries, more than any other hospital in the world......read complete article
Mazor sells 2 robotic systems for $1.4m October 2, 2011
The company sold 2 Renaissance systems to West Coast Spine & Ortho and the University of Mainz hospital.
Mazor Robotics Ltd. (TASE:MZOR) has sold two of its new Renaissance robotic systems in the US and Germany at an average price of $700,000 each. California medical devices distributor West Coast Spine & Ortho Inc. bought one system, and the Clinical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz bought the other.
Mazor's share price rose 21.9% today to NIS 3.53, giving a market cap of NIS 77 million. The Renaissance enables highly accurate, state-of-the-art, robotic procedures on the spine, with less radiation, including for minimally invasive surgery, scoliosis, and other complex spinal deformities.
Mazor mentioned no sales of the Renaissance robotic system in its financial report for the second quarter, and total sales of the system disappointed investors, who had expected more on the basis of analysts' forecasts. Mazor's sales fell to NIS 1.9 million in the second quarter from NIS 4.2 million for the corresponding quarter of 2010, although first half 2011 sales rose to NIS 8.3 million from NIS 4.7 million in the first half of 2010....read more
Mako Surgical Corp. CEO Dr. Maurice Ferre expects the RIO device to help the company grow profits. Image courtesy of South Florida Business Journal
Mako Surgical aims for big cut of medical device market Posted: October 1, 2011
One of the region’s fastest-growing companies, due to the debut of its robotic surgery device for knee replacements, now has an even bigger target in mind.
The Fort Lauderdale-based company (NASDAQ: MAKO), which topped the Business Journal’s 2010 list of fastest-growing technology companies, recently launched sales for its robotic arm interactive orthopedic (RIO) device for hip replacement surgery.
It also ramped up staff in anticipation of more growth. Mako President and CEO Dr. Maurice R. Ferre said the market for hip replacements is about three times the size of the market for knee replacements. About 300,000 hip ...read more
Robotic surgery for cancer of the reproductive system Posted: October 1, 2011
Dr. Scott Richard discusses robotic surgery for cancer of the reproductive system and potential benefits.
Contact Us Contact the Gynecologic Cancer Program at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC by calling toll-free 866-MyMagee (696-2433).
2011 Medical Innovation Summit to Showcase Latest Innovations in Cardiovascular Care Posted: August 25, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2011
Cleveland Clinic's 9th Annual Medical Innovation Summit When: Oct. 3-5.
This year's Summit will focus on the heart and breakthrough technologies that will help diagnose and treat cardiovascular ailments. Heart failure currently affects 6 million Americans and top executives, investors, entrepreneurs, clinicians and technologists will gather to share ideas on how to effectively treat this burgeoning problem, as well as a host of other cardiovascular conditions.
"Cardiovascular care remains the largest market in all of medicine," says Chris Coburn, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. "Its history of innovation includes some of the most important technologies ever developed – heart transplantation, the artificial heart, heart pumps, pacemakers, stents, angiography, and hundreds more. The Summit will pinpoint what is coming next in cardiovascular care and what is the future for new technology in the current health care environment."
The 2011 Medical Innovation Summit speakers will feature more than 50 top health care leaders, including the CEOs of some of the most important companies in the industry: Ian Read (Pfizer), Jeffery Immelt (General Electric), Omar Ishrak (Medtronic), David Snow (Medco), Raymond Elliot (Boston Scientific), Daniel Starks (St. Jude Medical), Gary Burbach (Thoratec), Ursula Burns (Xerox), John Castellani (PhRMA), Michael Mussallem (Edwards Lifesciences), Tim Ring (CR Bard), Doug Godshall (Heartware) James Greenwood (BIO), Steve Ubl (AdvaMed). Media moderators will include Bob Bazell (NBC) and Maria Bartiromo (CNBC).
Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will bring a patient's perspective to innovations in heart health over the years.......read more
• Dr. Kuppersmith will be an invited speaker at the "Best of ORL 2011" at the American Hospital of Paris, France in October 2011.
• Dr. Kuppersmith will be an invited speaker/faculty member in a session titled "Minimally Invasive Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery" at the American College of Surgeons meeting in San Francisco, California on October 25, 2011.
• Dr. Kuppersmith will be an invited speaker at the Arthur Bauman Clincal Symposium on Robotic Thyroid Surgery at the Americal Thyroid Association Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California in October 2011.
• Dr. Kuppersmith will be an invited speaker at the 36th Midwinter Symposium on Practical Surgical Challenges in Otolaryngology, organized by the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Illinois, in Snowmass, Colorado in February 2012.
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