2011-017 – Laparo-Extender: A device for Safely Expanding Laparoscopic Surgical Incisions

Executive SummaryUniversity of Virginia physicians have developed an inventive device to aid surgeons in safely removing patients92 gall bladders when complications arise that put patients at increased risk of harm and morbidity.BackgroundCholecystitis, or inflammation of the gallbladder, is among the most costly gastrointestinal diseases. The condition is frequently treated with laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a common surgical procedure performed on nearly one million patients annually in the U.S.During this procedure, surgeons frequently have difficulty extracting the gall bladder from the abdominal cavity due to the small size of the incision, which typically measures approximately one centimeter in length. As a result, the organ 97 enlarged with stones 97 often becomes flattened and lodged against the inside of the abdominal cavity. This complication occurs in as many as one in three surgeries, requiring the surgeon to enlarge the incision site to remove the organ. This procedure carries the risks of cutting into the recovery bag, rupturing the gallbladder and resulting morbidity. About the InventionThe invention is a surgical tool resembling a retractor that aids surgeons in extending laparoscopic incisions when it becomes necessary to remove a gall bladder that has become lodged in the abdominal cavity. This tool is specially designed to reduce the risk of rupturing the organ and the surrounding endoscopic bag. Multiple prototype design iterations resulted in the present device, which will be tested further at the University of Virginia. The approval process, for general use, is anticipated to be relatively simple due to the elegantly straightforward design of the device. This device may be able to assist in differentiating a corporate partner in the crowded laparoscopic device segment. AdvantagesThis invention offers the following advantages:Logical and ergonomic design Surgical risk-reducing technology Design engineered by doctors and surgeons Device to solve a common and time-consuming problem Joshua P. Mauldin josh@uvapf.org (434) 243-7183

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