Endoscope Handle Manipulator

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Background:

Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) is a surgical technique in which procedures are performed with an endoscope passed through a natural orifice, such as the mouth, nose, urethra, vagina, or anus. The main advantage of performing NOTES procedures is that external incisions or scars can be limited or eliminated altogether.

One of the problems facing wider implementation of NOTES is that current endoscopic technology requires the presence of two or three doctors (surgeons and or endoscopists) to perform a procedure. Current endoscopic models were designed to perform simple diagnostic tests and procedures, not complex surgeries.

In an effort to reduce the number of personnel required for such procedures, some endoscope manufacturer companies have begun creating robotically controlled endoscopes, but unfortunately this technology is still far from being commercially available. In addition, the economic costs will limit the widespread adoption of a robotically controlled endoscope.

Dr. Andrew Gumbs and his colleague Dr. Luca Milone of Columbia University created a system to eliminate one of the operators while still performing NOTES procedures.

The Endoscopic Handle Manipulator is designed to fit most standard flexible endoscope handles and is an optimal solution for hospitals, because it enables surgeons to use their existing endoscopes instead of purchasing new robotic NOTES endoscopes when they become available.

Advantages:

  • Interchangeable among the different endoscopes currently on the market
  • Eliminates the need of one operator while ensuring safe NOTES procedures
  • Easy to handle and operate
  • Cheaper alternative to investing in robotic NOTES endoscopes when available on the market

Patent Status:

U.S. Patent Application pending