Developments in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery causes less pain, minimal amount of damage to the body, and fewer complications compared to open surgery. So it’s easy to see why -whenever possible- minimally invasive surgery is the preferred method of operation. But it’s increasingly widespread use is due to continual innovations in catheter and surgical medical device technologies. These have been instrumental in proliferating minimally invasive surgery as the operating method of choice for an ever-increasing number of diverse medical conditions. In this piece, we take a look at developments that we believe will have the biggest impact in years to come.

Intelligent Balloon Catheters

Novel balloon catheter systems are currently under development. Equipped with sensors, mechanisms, and flexible electronics that can provide blood flow information, ablation therapy, electrical stimulation, and hematological information, all in one compact balloon catheter device. Similarly, new balloon catheter designs have been developed for both bridge to transplant or destination therapies, featuring specialized continuous flow pumps, providing increased reliability.

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Surgical Robots

The high cost of surgical robots has been a barrier for many hospitals in adopting surgical robotic systems. This is always the case with any new platform. However, now that the benefits of surgical robotics have been well established and the competition has intesified, prices have dropped significantly over recent years.
New systems have been emerging and successfully tested as direct or indirect competitors of the daVinci system by Intuitive, the current market leader. One example is the Versius surgical system, which can perform laparoscopic surgery just like the daVinci. In addition, specialized robotic surgical systems have also been emerging. For example Monarch by Auris Health is a surgical robotics platform developed for bronchoscopy procedures, while the Preceyes surgical system has been successfully tested in retina, gene therapy, and general eye surgery procedures.

Virtual Reality

The use of current Virtual reality (VR) technologies, finds two very important applications pertaining to the future of minimally invasive surgery. Firstly, utilizing a VR environment has been proven a fast and effective method of training physicians for minimally invasive surgical procedures. Secondly, by using VR, physicians can plan for an upcoming laparoscopic surgical procedure. This allows for improved preparation, increasing the chances of success, and decreasing the chances of complications or patient discomfort.

Augmented Reality 

Utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) provides physicians with new ways for taking advantage of medical imaging technologies, opening up great possibilities. For example, by analyzing and 3D rendering medical imaging data, solutions are being developed that can project a hologram of a patient’s internal anatomy, floating above them in real-time during surgery. Such AR applications can provide in-depth insights and enhance the precision of minimally invasive surgeries, increasing their chances of success.

Laser Technologies

Laser technologies have been notoriously used in eye surgery for decades. Perhaps less known is the fact that laser is currently used in a variety of endoscopic surgical procedures. Lasers can be used to cut, coagulate, dissolve, and ablate soft tissue in minimally invasive surgery. Specialized uses of laser also include assisted endovascular angioplasty, removal of malignant or benign tumors, plastic surgery, and minimally invasive spinal surgery. Laser technology is expected to expand significantly as an application used in minimally invasive surgical systems. 

Staying Ahead of the Curve

As a medical device company executive, you recognize the importance of keeping up with the newest developments in minimally invasive surgery technologies and applications. Deciding however which technology can offer your company the most benefits, let alone the one to use in manufacturing your own medical devices, can be quite daunting. At Quasar, we specialize in helping medical device companies research & develop, test, produce on small scale, and ultimately mass manufacture new, or improve existing medical devices. Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve your goals and stay ahead of the curve.

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