Smith & Nephew introduces innovative lighting system for minimally invasive joint replacement surgery

Memphis 09 March 2004The Orthopaedic business of Smith & Nephew has launched a unique and innovative solution for one of the key challenges in minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery. The SOLIS Surgical Illuminator, displayed at the recent annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting, is a flexible, disposable fiber optic light that attaches unobtrusively to any retractor and can be inserted directly into the small incision used with Smith & Nephew's minimally invasive instruments.

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As incision lengths used for total knee and total hip replacements are reduced, in some cases by as much as 75 percent, surgeons can have difficulty visualizing their work inside the patient. At just half an inch wide and one-tenth of an inch thick, this exclusive, patented light source is not only quick and easy to use, but its bright flood of light produces virtually no heat around the light source.

"The new SOLIS Surgical Illuminator is the newest addition to the family of tools specifically engineered for minimally invasive surgery", stated Steve Hirsch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics' Reconstructive division. "This new technology provides cool light, illuminating the entire cavity as if a fluorescent light were turned on inside the patient. It is substantially brighter and easier to use than other light sources, allowing surgeons increased visibility of anatomy and proper implant placement. This further improves visualization, and helps surgeons save time and ensure more positive outcomes for their patients."

The SOLIS Surgical Illuminator attaches easily to existing retractors with a bio-compatible adhesive. It can also be attached to suction devices or other instruments, or, because it produces virtually no heat, can simply be handheld in improvised situations.

The SOLIS Surgical Illuminator is manufactured by Lumitex, an Ohio-based company that engineers light into sensitive applications in the medical and electronics industries. The company uses proprietary technologies that provide light without heat, electricity or electro-magnetic interference. Lumitex has provided innovative lighting solutions in infant phototherapy, surgical lighting, computer keyboards, and handheld electronics, among other applications. The agreement with Smith & Nephew is exclusive for orthopaedic trauma and joint replacement applications.

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics is a provider of joint reconstruction, trauma and clinical therapy products. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the company strives to combine industry-leading technology with its history of clinically proven products to deliver simpler, less invasive and more cost-effective procedures to the orthopaedic community.

Smith & Nephew is one of the world's leading medical devices companies, specializing in Orthopaedics, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management. Smith & Nephew ranks as the global expert in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is the fastest growing full-line orthopaedics company in the world.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The company prides itself in the strength of its relationships with its surgeon and health care professional customers, with whom its name is synonymous with the highest standards of performance, innovation and trust. The company has more than 7000 employees and operates in 32 countries around the world, generating sales of nearly $2 billion. More news on Smith & Nephew is available in the VMW August 2003 article Smith & Nephew to deliver eleven Digital Operating Rooms at Toronto General Hospital.


Leslie Versweyveld

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