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Novare Surgical Systems, Inc. Release: Surgeon Performs First Ever Single Port Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal Using RealHand HD Instruments


5/16/2007 11:58:35 AM

CUPERTINO, Calif., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In a first-of-its-kind procedure, a surgeon at Drexel University College of Medicine successfully removed a woman's gallbladder through a single incision in the patient's belly button. The single port access (SPA) SM surgery was performed by Paul G. Curcillo II, M.D. FACS, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of the department of surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine and Director of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery. The entire procedure was done with only one incision and left the patient with a hidden scar. It is believed to be the world's first single port laparoscopic gallbladder removal procedure.

"Using recently developed RealHand (TM) High Dexterity instrumentation, we are now able to decrease the number of incisions required in routine laparoscopy, as well as do more advanced procedures through the laparoscope," said Dr. Curcillo. "Fewer incisions are ultimately better for the patient in terms of the amount of discomfort and recovery time, not to mention the benefit of a hidden scar. Most important, this technique can be easily learned by surgeons and gynecologists currently doing laparoscopy."

The surgery was performed on a 28-year-old female patient at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. The patient experienced minimal discomfort and has a barely visible scar compared to traditional laparoscopic gallbladder removal requiring three to four incisions -- one in the belly button, the others routinely made throughout the abdomen and lower chest, leaving obvious scarring. Using the RealHand High Dexterity instrumentation, Dr. Curcillo was able to combine all of the standard laparoscopic entry points into one port of entry -- the belly button. The incision was then closed with surgical glue.

"We are very excited about Dr. Curcillo's achievement and what it represents for patients," said Kerry Pope, Novare's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is an important step in reducing or eliminating patient scarring and post operative discomfort in many laparoscopic surgical procedures. RealHand HD instruments have now been shown to be a crucial element of achieving that goal."

Dr. Curcillo's procedure follows recent announcements of other types of "natural orifice" procedures including NOTES (natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery) in which surgeons enter through the mouth, rectum, or vagina in an attempt to minimize scarring and port access through the abdomen.

About RealHand Instruments for Minimally Invasive Surgery

RealHand instruments are the very first full range of motion hand-held laparoscopic instruments. Developed with the EndoLink(R) mechanism, RealHand technology is designed to mirror the surgeon's hand direction with the added benefit of tactile feedback. As such, when the surgeon's hand moves in one direction, the instrument tip exactly follows.

Unlike standard laparoscopic instrumentation, RealHand instruments offer complete 7 degrees of freedom of movement in a hand-held instrument and with no need for additional hardware. Moreover, RealHand will enable surgeons to perform more difficult maneuvers that otherwise cannot be completed with traditional rigid instruments. RealHand instruments make it easy to actively manipulate and complete tasks regardless of whether the instrument is positioned over, under, or around structures.

RealHand instruments will provide for greater dexterity and control around critical structures and vasculature. The increase in range of motion will lead the way for development of new surgical approaches and techniques. RealHand instruments have received FDA 510(k) clearance.

About Novare Surgical Systems

Based in Cupertino, Calif., Novare Surgical Systems was originally founded in 1999 to develop, manufacture and market devices for cardiac surgery. RealHand was developed entirely at Novare Surgical and represents a shift in the company's focus toward devices for minimally invasive surgery. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.novaresurgical.com.

Novare Surgical Systems

CONTACT: Kerry Pope, President and CEO of Novare Surgical Systems Inc.,+1-408-873-3161, or kpope@novaresurgical.com


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