Endoscopic robot gets first clinical use

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Munich-based surgical robotics startup Medineering has announced that an endoscopic robot developed by the group has now been put to clinical use.

After having received the CE approval for the endoscope robot in February, various clinical procedures in university hospitals across Germany (Tübingen, Ulm, Regensburg, Essen) and in northern Italy (Brescia) have reportedly been performed successfully.

The endoscopy robot supports surgeons during minimally invasive ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgery by moving and holding the endoscope. The modular robot is part of Medineering’s platform for hybrid robotic surgery. It is based on the positioning arm, which is combined with the application-specific endoscope robot and a foot pedal as a control device.

During endoscopic surgery, the surgeon or an assistant have to hold and move the endoscope manually, which leads to limitations in performing and developing surgical techniques.

Professor Francesco Doglietto from the Department for Neurosurgery of the University Hospital Brescia, Italy used the Medineering robot during transnasal skull base surgery: “The robotic solution is a great benefit for doing complex surgery in anatomical regions, where a clear and stable image without tremor is needed. With its precise movements, the robot delivers exactly the endoscope image I need to see and I still have two hands available for instrumentation.”

Professor Stefan Mattheis, vice director of the ENT department of the University Hospital Essen used the robot for surgeries which are normally unsuitable for the endoscopic technique due to the current limitations: “The Medineering solution has the potential to expand the applications of existing surgical endoscopic techniques,” he said.

“We deeply appreciate the passion and enthusiasm of our clinical partners and we are looking forward to pushing surgical robotics forward together,” added Dr Maximilian Krinninger, CTO of Medineering.

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