VirtuoSaph Endoscopic Vein Harvesting System from Terumo Cardiovascular Systems advances minimally invasive technique and training for coronary bypass grafting

Ann Arbor 20 January 2005Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation has introduced the VirtuoSaph Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) System for use in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The system is designed to enhance the precision and performance of clinicians interested in introducing this endoscopic procedure at their institutions. The new minimally invasive device provides an endoscopic approach to saphenous vein harvesting in which one small leg incision minimizes scarring, morbidity and infection associated with traditional longitudinal incisions.


In focus groups with surgical clinicians, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems identified a need for a simple and intuitive device and a comprehensive and advanced training programme in order for clinicians to successfully learn and perform endoscopic vein harvesting.

The VirtuoSaph EVH System features innovative disposable endoscopic tools that are inserted through a small leg incision to dissect and harvest the saphenous vein. An Olympus brand endoscope, designed exclusively for the system by Olympus, allows the clinician to view the endoscopic procedure in real time on a monitor. The easy-to-use disposable tools include a trocar, a dissector rod, and a harvester rod that enable one-handed manipulation and easy conversion between tools during the procedure. In the United States, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems provides all the hardware components necessary to perform endoscopic vein harvesting, including the Olympus UES-40 generator, VISERA camera processor unit, and light source.

Studies show that surgical residents trained on simulators made fewer errors and operated more quickly than those who received the traditional "see one, do one, teach one" training, in which residents observe experienced doctors, do procedures under supervision and then independently, and later train others.

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems has combined the VirtuoSaph EVH System with the Terumo Endoscopic Simulator. Masao Hitotsuyanagi, Director, and General Manager, Advanced Surgical Technologies Business Unit, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, stated: "When a world-class medical device is combined with world-class training the result is better patient outcomes." The simulator was developed in an intensive collaborative effort with Immersion Medical, an expert in virtual reality medical simulators.

This real-time, virtual reality training programme provides haptic or touch feedback using Immersion Medical's Accutouch technology. Designed for participants to gain dexterity and confidence with both the product and the procedure, the unique two-day training programme enables clinicians to practise all areas of the EVH procedure repeatedly in virtual reality to reach proficiency more quickly.

The VirtuoSaph Endoscopic Vein Harvesting System will be marketed by Terumo Cardiovascular Systems in the United States and by Terumo companies around the world. Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation manufactures and markets products for the cardiac surgery, interventional, and neurovascular markets. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with manufacturing operations in Ann Arbor, as well as Elkton, Maryland; Ashland, Massachusetts; Tustin, California; and Matamoros, Mexico. It is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation of Japan.

Terumo Corporation is a premier global medical company with 2003 annual sales in excess of $1,9 billion. Terumo Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of medical products including syringes, needles, catheters, and blood bags. Along with its sister companies, Vascutek Ltd. and Terumo Heart Inc., Terumo Cardiovascular Systems embodies Terumo Corporation's commitment to advancing the surgical treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Immersion Medical Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based medical training simulation systems worldwide. The systems integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics to create highly realistic medical procedure simulations that help train clinicians. The company's five key product lines are the CathSim AccuTouch System, the Endoscopy AccuTouch System, the Endovascular AccuTouch System, Laparoscopy AccuTouch System, and the Hysteroscopy AccuTouch System. Immersion Medical is a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion, an industry expert in touch technology products with more than 240 patents worldwide. More news on Immersion Medical can be found in the VMW December 2004 article Immersion Medical introduces educational Hysteroscopic Myomectomy CD.

Leslie Versweyveld

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