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World's First Flexible Endoluminal Robotic System Enables Scar-Free and Less Invasive Surgical Procedures

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Sep 2022
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Image: EndoQuest Robotics ELS system won the 2022 Surgical Robotic Challenge (Photo courtesy of ENDOQUEST)
Image: EndoQuest Robotics ELS system won the 2022 Surgical Robotic Challenge (Photo courtesy of ENDOQUEST)

The world's first flexible endoluminal robotic system makes it possible for therapeutic endoscopists and surgeons to perform upper and lower gastrointestinal surgery less-invasively through a trans-oral or trans-anal approach. The robotic platform combines the flexibility of endoscopy that is able to navigate the curvature of patients' anatomy with instrumentation that allows the physician to use a conventional two-handed surgical technique.

ENDOQUEST Robotics (Houston, TX, USA) has developed the Endoluminal Surgical (ELS) System, the world's first flexible endoluminal robotic system which enables scar-free and less invasive surgical procedures. The system represents an innovative advance in minimally invasive surgery that combines the flexibility of conventional endoscopy with the advantages of traditional surgical techniques to improve control and outcomes. With this technology, therapeutic endoscopists and surgeons can perform a range of surgeries by accessing target disease sites directly through the body's existing lumens.

The ELS System design features a proprietary endoscope that works as a flexible and steerable overtube supporting the use of two surgical instruments and a videoscope. The minimally invasive procedures can be performed using only internal incisions that do not result in visible scarring. The enhanced capabilities of the robotic ELS System bring endoscopists and surgeons new levels of precision and control they need to use surgical techniques that were not previously possible.

The ELS System was named the winner of the Best Application Award in the 2022 Surgical Robotic Challenge based on results of a review of the use of the ELS System in ex vivo tissue models, including bovine colon and porcine esophagus, as well as a porcine Zenker's diverticula model, to assess basic functionality. Technical feasibility of colonic lesion resection was also explored. Results showed that the ELS system was able to function in a tortuous configuration with stable, smooth, and predictable movement of the flexible instrument end effectors and accessories could be efficiently exchanged without repositioning or interruption of the procedure. Tissue resection was possible in preclinical models, including simulated lesions in bovine colon. Myotomies were also successfully performed in porcine esophagus and Zenker's diverticula models.

"This achievement highlights the potential for EndoQuest's ELS System to allow for much broader adoption of endoluminal tissue resection techniques, ultimately enabling less invasive and scar-free endoluminal surgery to become more widely available to patients," said Kurt Azarbarzin, Chief Executive Officer of EndoQuest Robotics. "There is also clear potential to expand the applications of this technology further in endoscopic surgery in the years ahead."

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