Novare's line of articulating surgical tools allow full mobility for keyhole hysterectomy

Cupertino 20 December 2005Novare Surgical Systems Inc. is targeting its newly introduced line of EndoLink articulating surgical instruments for total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH), the newest, most advanced approach for removing the cervix and uterus employing minimally invasive "keyhole" surgery. Cleared for marketing by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the single-use, handheld surgical instruments are the first to provide surgeons with six degrees of freedom not available with conventional, rigid instruments for performing laparoscopic procedures, without the need for computer-aided instruments or robotics.

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"Our innovative EndoLink technology is aimed at providing surgeons who perform minimally invasive procedures the full mobility and surgical access they need to do endoscopic surgery safely, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner for the patient and the health care system", stated Kerry Pope, Novare's president and CEO. "Our instruments are ideally suited for complex procedures such as TLH, which represent a major unmet medical need we are fully prepared to address."

United States doctors perform more than 600.000 hysterectomies per year, making it the second most common surgical procedure, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of these operations are still performed using large, abdominal incisions. The key advantage of TLH is to permit the removal of the uterus and a view of the pelvic organs without the need for a large abdominal incision, significant blood loss and weeks of recovery time. The surgery is completed utilizing only four tiny abdominal incisions less than one-quarter to one half an inch in length.

Despite the growth in the range of laparoscopic procedures performed, doctors are hampered by the reduced dexterity and surgical accessibility of this approach, especially for complex procedures such as TLH. Unlike traditional laparoscopic instruments that allow four degrees of freedom, up/down, left/right, rotation, and in/out activation, EndoLink instruments articulate with wrist-like left/right and up/down movements inside the closed surgical field, thereby allowing surgeons to use the full spectrum of their traditional open surgery skills for laparoscopic operations.

Surgeons who have used the EndoLink instruments report the technology allows full mobility and tactile feedback inside the abdominal cavity without the cost and set-up time of robotic surgical systems. These key benefits may enable a whole new class of minimally invasive procedures, as well as reduce the complexity and learning of high-volume procedures such as TLH.

"EndoLink articulating instruments are the technological breakthrough we've been waiting for in gynaecologic surgery", stated Kate O'Hanlan, M.D., a gynaecologic oncology surgeon at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California, who has performed more than 700 TLH procedures and recently used Novare's instruments for the first time. "EndoLink translates your natural wrist movements without the stress, strain and tension that we have all tolerated for many years with the older laparoscopic instruments. Although robotic systems provide instrument articulation inside the abdominal cavity, they greatly compromise tactile feedback. Endolink offers this same articulation benefit, while maintaining essential tactile feedback. With Endolink, you employ your already developed skills as a laparoscopic surgeon but with increased agility, detail and precision, especially for tasks such as suturing, manipulating tissue and working in tight anatomy. This enabling technology makes what we do better and faster, and that ultimately makes the procedure easier and safer for the patient."

Based in Cupertino, California, Novare Surgical Systems Inc. was founded in 1999 to develop, manufacture and market proprietary devices for minimally invasive and traditional surgical procedures. In addition to its EndoLink family of surgical instruments, the company markets the Enclose assist device for performing multiple proximal anastomoses in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, and the Intrack line of atraumatic occlusion devices, which includes the Engage, Cygnet, Novaclip and Greyhound product lines.


Leslie Versweyveld

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