Published October 9, 2018
A new smart tool technology that allows surgeons to perform complex movements deep inside the abdomen was used for the first time in the U.S. in September during two procedures performed by Department of Surgery faculty members.
The first procedure was a hernia operation called a laparoscopic or minimally invasive TAPP (transabdominal preperitoneal) inguinal hernia repair.
Hernia operations are some of the most commonly performed surgeries, but this one was a special case, according to Alan R. Posner, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery, who performed the procedure at Buffalo General Medical Center with Steven D. Schwaitzberg, MD, professor and chair of surgery.
The new technology, HandX, was used to close the peritoneum, the abdominal cavity, after the hernia repair and placement of surgical mesh.
“This case was challenging,” Posner says. “Scar tissue in the abdomen forced us to change our original operative plan. The articulation of the device made suturing possible. Without the HandX, it would have been very difficult.”
The second case was a procedure on the esophagus and stomach to prevent reflux, which required extensive suturing.
Developed by Human Xtensions, an Israel-based company, the HandX Operating Platform is described by the company as a lightweight, hand-held device that can translate the surgeon’s natural hand motions into complex movements inside the patient.
Schwaitzberg has assisted the HandX design team for the past three years, providing important feedback on design features and usability.
A consultant for Human Xtensions and other companies focused on minimally invasive surgical techniques, Schwaitzberg has pioneered the clinical use of advanced instrumentation in surgery in order to lessen recovery times and improve clinical outcomes.
“Surgery is moving into a new age where both patients and surgeons will benefit from advanced instrumentation,” says Schwaitzberg, director of surgical programs at Kaleida Health. “HandX is part of that exciting movement.”