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The Details Behind MAKO Surgical's 80% Pop
September 25, 2013
Shares of robotic surgery company MAKO Surgical soared more than 85% on news that the company will be acquired by medical devices giant Stryker for $1.65 billion, or $30 per share.
In this video, from The Motley Fool's health-care show, Market Checkup, analysts Max Macaluso and David Williamson discuss what they think of the deal and how the market reacted to the news.......read more
Could "Rubbery Robots" hold the key to safer surgery?
September 25, 2013
Reports on the effectiveness of robotic surgery have been conflicting, with some touting its success, and others saying it shouldn't be used at all. While the rigid nature of such tools has a lot to do with persistent opinions supporting the latter viewpoint, a Boston start-up company aims to change all of that, Scientific American reports.
The start-up--Soft Robotics, Inc.--is looking to develop "rubbery robots" for use in surgery and other biomedical applications. Its developers are using technology created at Harvard University's Whitesides Research Group, and to date, group's most well-known creation is a "squishy, X-shaped quadruped made from elastomers [stretchy plastics]" and controlled by compressed air.
Carl Vause, CEO of Soft Robotics, tells Scientific American that such robots could use rubbery appendages to reduce surgical damage."Specifically," he said, "with medical devices, [you would be] allowing a robotic instrument to get into a small space, be reconfigurable in that space and do it in a way that's tissue compliant." The rubber robots can be 3-D printed in one day from silicone and other materials at a much lower cost than regular robots, according to the article......read more
Stryker's $30 a Share Mako Surgical Deal Smokes Out Shorts
September 25, 2013
Medical equipment manufacturer Stryker (SYK) said it will buy MAKO Surgical (MAKO) for $30 a share, in a deal that could smoke out short sellers of the robotic orthopedic equipment maker.
Stryker's acquisition values MAKO Surgical shares at $1.65 billion in cash, or about an 85% premium to the company's closing share price on Tuesday. The acquisition may prove to be a big boost to the credibility of makers of controversial robotic medical equipment such as Intuitive Surgical (ISRG). It also may prove painful for short-sellers who have piled into short positions in the shares of MAKO and Intuitive Surgical, given lingering questions about the safety of medical robots......read more
Experienced Medical Device Executives Join Excelsius Surgical Board
September 24, 2013
Excelsius Surgical, LLC Names Fred Moll and Rich Grant to Board of Directors
Excelsius Surgical, LLC today announced that it has named Dr. Fred Moll and Mr. Rich Grant to its Board of Directors. Excelsius Surgical is developing next generation surgical robotic technologies integrated with digital imaging for the spine, brain and other therapeutic markets. The addition of these experienced industry executives will provide strong leadership for the company as it continues the development process and works towards securing regulatory approval and commercialization. A prototype of the robotic surgical guidance system was developed by Dignity Health’s Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ.
Dr. Fred Moll is a pioneer in the field of laparoscopic surgical technology, the founder of companies and the developer of multiple innovative technologies that have set the standard of care for the industry.
Rich Grant has extensive executive experience in medical products and medical imaging devices. Mr. Grant was President, CEO and co-founder of Breakaway Imaging, LLC.
Intuitive Surgical Announces Clearance to Expand Use of Fluorescence Imaging in Gallbladder Surgery
September 23, 2013
Offers Surgeons Enhanced Imaging During Minimally Invasive Robotic-Assisted Procedures
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. ISRG, the global leader in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery, today announced it received FDA 510(k) clearance for expanded use of its da Vinci Fluorescence Imaging Vision System (Firefly(TM)) for the da Vinci Surgical System. Firefly imaging can now be used during gallbladder surgery.
The Firefly Fluorescence Imaging Vision System enables surgeons to use a special video camera and glowing dye to view blood flowing in vessels and tissue during minimally invasive surgical procedures. When a surgeon uses the Firefly camera, blood appears green and tissue without blood flow appears gray.
In addition to providing the ability to view blood flow through vessels and tissue, the expanded use now includes real-time imaging of bile ducts (cystic duct, common bile duct and common hepatic duct). The Firefly imaging system is intended for use along with normal white light in imaging of the bile ducts and is not intended for standalone use......read more
Physicians to speak on robotic techniques
Posted on AARS: Monday, September 23, 2013
Two physicians with the Obstetrics & Gynecology Department of Christie Clinic will discuss robotic surgical options for women’s health issues at a free event, “Let’s Talk, Ladies” on Tuesday September 24 at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville.
Terence Young, MD, will discuss robotic-assisted hysterectomies available in Danville. Michael Smith, MD, will discuss robotic-assisted prolapse surgery and single-site hysterectomy available at Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. in Conference Rooms 2 and 3 on the Ground Level of the Medical Center. Refreshments and prizes are included. Admission is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Participants can register on line or call (877) 737-4636.
New robotic surgery application at Women & Infants Hospital
September 19, 2013
Women & Infants Hospital has been using the da Vinci robotic surgery system for about three years to perform minimally invasive surgeries.
But now surgeons are using a new application that allows them to see what they haven't seen before. It's called the Firefly system. The system injects fluorescent dye to illuminate key blood vessels.
Dr. Richard Moore, who works at Women & Infants, recently used the system to remove a cancerous tumor in the pelvic area of a patient.....read more
IMRIS Announces Addition of Dr. Vipul Patel to SYMBIS™ Advisory Board
September 19, 2013
World's most experienced robotic surgeon to consult on neurosurgical robot
Global intraoperative imaging company IMRIS Inc. (NASDAQ: IMRS) today announced that Vipul Patel, M.D., of Florida Hospital Celebration Health, has joined the SYMBIS™ Surgical System Advisory Board. Dr. Patel is the internationally recognized leader in the field of robotic surgery, with experience performing over 6,000 robotic prostatectomies.
"Dr. Patel brings to the SYMBIS Advisory Board a wealth of experience in terms of surgeon training and the integration of robotics into the operating room," IMRIS CEO Jay D. Miller said. "As we develop our training plans and work our way through the regulatory process, we look forward to Dr. Patel's contributions as a surgeon who has performed more robotic surgery than anyone else in the world."
The SYMBIS Advisory Board, established in May, provides guidance in the clinical study and surgeon training on the SYMBIS Surgical System. Dr. Patel joins three other board members: Garnette Sutherland, M.D., FRCS(C) of Foothills Medical Center at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta; David Roberts, M.D., FAANS, of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover and Lebanon, NH; and Melvin Field, M.D., of Orlando Neurosurgery in Winter Park, and Florida Hospital in Orlando, FL.
The SYMBIS Surgical System is currently under development and not available for sale.
Major Study: Minimally Invasive Prostate Surgery Safer than Open Surgery
September 16, 2013
An independent study published online in the journal Urology found that minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer significantly reduces complications when compared to open surgery. The study found that minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer, including laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery, was associated with lower transfusion rates, shorter length of hospital stay, and lower serious postoperative complication and mortality rates compared to open prostatectomy.
In the study, the authors (Liu JJ, Maxwell BG, Panousis P, Chung BI) evaluated the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database.....read more
Credit: Maryland Robotics Center
Remote-controlled robot worm could suck away brain tumors
September 13, 2013
Operating on the brain is tricky business. This goes double for surgery that attempts to remove tumors from deep within the brain. Removing all the bad tissue without affecting good tissue is difficult, even for the most highly trained brain surgeon. However, scientists funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB) may have developed a solution: a tiny robot worm that can fry brain tumors and then suck away cancerous tissue, while leaving good brain tissue intact.
From performing heart bypasses to removing blood clots, robots are proving their worth in delicate surgery. What makes this particular surgery method unique is that it occurs while a patient is undergoing an MRI scan. It works like this: the robot is inserted before the patient enters the scanner. Once inside, the MRI machine allows surgeons to see where the cancer exists so that the robot can be directed by remote to that exact spot. The robotic worm, which moves by using a series of pulleys and springs, cauterizes the tumor and then sucks out the bad tissue, while the good brain tissue remains completely intact......read more
Former Sagentia CEO eyes $5m Series A for disruptive robotic surgery startup
Septeber 13, 2013
Martin Frost, the former CEO of one of Cambridge's largest technology consultancies, Sagentia, says he expects to close a $5 million plus Series A funding round this year for a disruptive new company that aims to transform the number of surgical procedures that can be carried out using robotic systems.
Kinective Surgical launched last year and made its first patent applications this, seeking to protect what it says are four key aspects of robotic surgery. Kinetic believes it can disrupt an industry currently worth $2 billion, but which Frost says is dominated by Intuitive Surgical and its daVinci robotic system, which only addresses five per cent of the procedures possible using minimal access surgery (MAS) or endoscopic techniques.
"We want to address all the procedures," Frost told Cabume, that's in excess of 10 million operations every year. First, he says, the company will need to raise some serious VC money – robotic surgery is not a quick software play – and is believed to be looking in London and overseas, no Cambridge VCs are expected to participate.
"We need to raise capital that will get us through FDA (US medical approval) as soon as possible. We are looking north of $5 million for the first round, but will seek around £30 million longer term.
"The company says its system has better dexterity than human arms and greater visual acuity and precision, allowing the platform to do all existing MAS procedures without modification. The platform also uses force feedback technology, which it says restores a sense of touch to robotic surgery, as well as 3D visualisation techniques.....read more
Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Bile Duct Exploration
On September 25, 2013, the Clinical Virtual University by CRSA will host a live surgery performed by Dr. CN Tang at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. The surgery is expected to be performed from 2 to 5 pm (HKT)
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 01:00 - 04:00
Texas Children's Hospital establishes dedicated pediatric robotic surgery program
September 10, 2013
Texas Children's Hospital is excited to announce the acquisition of the da Vinci Si Surgical System which will establish the hospital's first dedicated pediatric robotic surgery program. Dr. Chester Koh, an internationally recognized expert in minimally invasive surgery, will be leading the pediatric robotic surgery program at Texas Children's as he has been instrumental in developing cutting edge techniques with both the laparoscope and the da Vinci robot......read more
Robots that could help surgeons operate on hard to reach brain tumours
September 9, 2013
Scientists are trying to develop technologies that will combine imaging techniques that allow surgeons to see deep within the brain during surgery with robotic systems that increase the precision of tissue removal.
J. Marc Simard, M.D., a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore (UMB), teamed up with Rao Gullapalli, Ph.D., professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine also at UMB, as well as Jaydev Desai, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, to develop a small neurosurgical robot that could be used to remove deep-seated brain tumors.
Within four years, the team had designed, constructed, and tested their first prototype, a finger-like device with multiple joints, allowing it to move in many directions.
At the tip of the robot is an electrocautery tool, which uses electricity to heat and ultimately destroy tumors, as well as a suction tube for removing debris.
A key component of the team’s device..........read more
One Woman’s Da Vinci Complications Beyond Words
September 7, 2013
While the da Vinci surgical robot delivers maximum “wow” factor for precision from its 10,000 components and is being deployed at more and more hospitals in spite of a $1.5 million price tag to acquire one, some patients have suffered horrific outcomes from the devices, and have responded with a da Vinci lawsuit.
One of those plaintiffs is Michelle Zarick, a pretty brunette who underwent a hysterectomy aided by the da Vinci surgical robot. Zarick told NBC’s investigative program Rock Center that her doctor was “excited” about the prospect of using the robot for the procedure. Da Vinci robot surgery is used in an increasing number of hysterectomy procedures. And there is little doubt that most of the 400,000 robotic-assisted surgeries performed in 2012 were successful.
However, Zarick’s procedure, in 2009, was not. In an interview with NBC News chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Zarick felt fine for the first while following her surgery. Then, in February of that year - five weeks after her surgery - the “seal” stitched into place by the surgical robot where her uterus and cervix used to be failed. Sitting on the toilet, “I felt like I had to have a bowel movement, and - as I was bearing down - I felt something kind of pop inside me,” she told the interviewer in comments broadcast on Rock Center in June. She looked down and was shocked to see her intestines drooping out of her vagina.
Not all doctors are sold on the device. Dr. Martin Makary told CNN last month, “The Achilles heel of robotic surgery is that the robot cannot feel the tissue, so the surgeon can make an inadvertent injury to a major structure, and that is a unique problem with this kind of surgery.”.....read more
Robotic Surgery Complications Underreported
September 3, 2013
Despite widespread adoption by hospitals of surgical robot technology over the past decade, a "slapdash" system of reporting complications paints an unclear picture of its safety, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
In a report published online in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, the Johns Hopkins team says that of the 1 million or so robotic surgeries performed since 2000, only 245 complications -- including 71 deaths -- were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When an adverse event or device malfunction occurs, hospitals are required to report these incidents to the manufacturer, which in turn is required to report them to the FDA. But this doesn't always happen, the researchers say.
"The number reported is very low for any complex technology used over a million times," says Martin A. Makary, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Doctors and patients can't properly evaluate safety when we have a haphazard system of collecting data that is not independent and not transparent. There may be some complications specific to the use of this device, but we can only learn about them if we accurately track outcomes.
"As part of their study, the researchers found several incidents reported in the national news media that were not reported to the FDA until after the stories appeared in the press, even though the incidents took place long before the media exposure. Makary says it's likely many other incidents go unreported, never to be captured by research like his or by the FDA.......read more
Mazor's robotic system performs first-ever brain surgery
September 3, 2013
Dr. Nizam Razack successfully performed the world’s first deep brain stimulation using the system at Celebration Health Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
DBS is a procedure to surgically implant a small battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement to block the abnormal nerve signals that cause the debilitating neurological symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, such as trembling and slowed movement. Utilizing Renaissance’s proprietary pre-operative planning software, surgeons can determine the optimal trajectory for implanting the electrodes beforehand and use the guidance unit to execute the implantation with precision.
Mazor cites the Parkinson's Disease Foundation as saying that 30,000 people with Parkinson's have undergone DBS, and quotes "Progress in Brain Research" as saying that there are 8,000-10,000 new cases a year worldwide.
Renaissance has also been utilized successfully in 36 brain biopsy procedures in Germany. Mazor says that this could be a major application the technology, citing a report by "US News and World Report" that there are 180,000 new diagnoses of brain tumors a year.......read more
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