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08 Jun 2023 - 10 Jun 2023

Miniature Robotic Gamma Probe Enables Unprecendented Dexterity and Anatomic Reach in Minimally Invasive Surgeries

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 May 2023
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Image: The miniaturized gamma probe enables unprecedented dexterity and anatomic reach (Photo courtesy of Lightpoint)
Image: The miniaturized gamma probe enables unprecedented dexterity and anatomic reach (Photo courtesy of Lightpoint)

Robotic technology has revolutionized surgical procedures over recent decades, with robot-assisted, minimally invasive cancer surgeries becoming the norm. Yet, despite these advancements, surgical procedures can leave traces of cancer behind, or alternatively, remove healthy tissue unnecessarily. This necessitates additional treatments like drug therapy, radiotherapy, and further surgeries. Now, a new miniature surgical probe can help surgeons quickly and accurately detect cancer in real-time in more difficult-to-access areas, enhancing surgical precision, improving patient outcomes, and reducing healthcare costs.

Lightpoint Medical’s (Buckinghamshire, UK) SENSEI is a compact gamma probe designed to dramatically expand the scope of radio-guided cancer surgery. Barely larger than an AA battery and specifically crafted for robotic and minimally invasive surgery, SENSEI facilitates radio-guided procedures in previously hard-to-reach surgical cavities like the pelvis, abdomen, and lungs. This makes the device versatile, applicable to a wide range of surgical procedures for major cancer types, including prostate, cervical, colorectal, lung, and bladder cancer.

SENSEI was designed in close cooperation with leading surgeons and nuclear medicine physicians. It's user-friendly in the operating room, providing clear audible and graphic displays. The single-use, disposable probe is just over 40mm long, making it suitable for both manual intracavity and robotic laparoscopic procedures. Connected to a 3-metre lightweight cable, the probe can be easily removed through a standard 12mm entry port. Paired with an articulating grasper, this mini probe allows unmatched intracavity maneuverability and dexterity. With multiple grip orientations, the probe can offer six degrees of freedom within the surgical field, reaching all areas of interest.

When used in conjunction with molecularly-targeted imaging agents, SENSEI can directly detect cancer during surgery. This aids surgeons in effectively removing cancerous tissue and sparing healthy, functional tissue. Additionally, the SENSEI system can be integrated with robotic surgical platforms, allowing visualization of the probe and radiation signal directly from the surgical console. With its wide-ranging applications in radio-guided surgery for various procedures and major cancer types, SENSEI is already being utilized globally in prostate, cervical, and colorectal cancer surgeries.

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