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Robotic Surgery System Enables Groundbreaking Maneuvers in Endoscopic/Endoluminal Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 May 2023
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Image: The robotic system resets scale and reimagines the future of robotic endoscopic surgery (Photo courtesy of Virtuoso Surgical)
Image: The robotic system resets scale and reimagines the future of robotic endoscopic surgery (Photo courtesy of Virtuoso Surgical)

Rigid endoscopes are widely used in various surgical fields, such as neurologic, thoracic, orthopedic, urologic, and gynecologic procedures. Now, a groundbreaking robotic surgery system improves the conventional rigid endoscope by incorporating dexterous, robotic tools without disrupting the operating room workflow.

Virtuoso Surgical, Inc. (Nashville, TN, USA) has introduced its cutting-edge robotic surgery system, based on its patented technology that redefines endoscopic surgery in terms of scale, function, and cost. The system allows surgeons to employ two hands to execute skillful maneuvers deep within the body using the endoscope's tip. The Virtuoso System minimizes the need for awkward and potentially hazardous endoscope movements while allowing the surgeon to handle tissue as if their hands were inside the body.

The Virtuoso Surgical system consists of two robotically controlled, needle-sized manipulators operating from a rigid endoscope's tip, which is less than half the diameter of a U.S. dime. The scope itself is significantly smaller than existing robotic endoscope equipment, and the manipulators have a 1mm diameter. The endoscope, which includes a camera, comes with a variety of manipulators tailored to the procedure, such as a grasper, spatula, snare, laser aiming manipulator, and electrosurgical tools. Each needle-sized manipulator is made from curved nitinol tubes that bend controllably as they twist and telescopically extend.

Virtuoso has developed manipulators that are considerably smaller than other robotic surgical instruments. This enables the surgeon to insert tools into areas of the body that were previously inaccessible, opening the door for new treatments through a single port less than one centimeter in diameter. The system can replace straight tools in almost any rigid endoscopic procedure, offering the surgeon unparalleled dexterity in grasping, manipulating, and cutting tissue within rigid endoscopy today.

The Virtuoso Surgical system has proven its feasibility in animal, cadaver, and tissue model studies for surgeries involving bladder cancer, uterine fibroids (and other intrauterine procedures), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), central airway obstruction removal, and endoscopic neurosurgery. The technology can deliver dexterity in any procedure involving rigid endoscopes, including urology, gynecology, neurosurgery, interventional pulmonology, orthopedics, thoracic surgery, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), and other sub-specialties.

“Virtuoso gives surgeons their hands back, equipping them to lift tissue, apply tension and maintain traction – in tight spaces within the body,” said S. Duke Herrell, III, MD, FACS, CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Virtuoso Surgical. “These are groundbreaking maneuvers in endoscopic/endoluminal surgery that are not possible with today’s instruments.”

“Virtuoso Surgical was born to reimagine the possibilities of endoscopic surgery, and we are pleased to move closer to making this system widely available to U.S. physicians,” said Virtuoso Surgical Co-Founder and President Robert J. Webster, III, PhD. “Easier to use, more nimble and more effective than existing instruments, it stands to drastically broaden the possibilities of rigid endoscopic surgery.”

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