University of Kentucky Background
Most of the commercially available channeled endoscopes are single channel devices (that means the working channel used to pass the instruments is the same one used for suction purposes). During endoscopic procedures, multiple devices can be used to control bleeding but these devices do not allow for suction at the same time. Suction is important to clear blood and fluid from a field to allow for better visualization which is key for procedure success. Additionally, with the expansion in interventional endoscopic procedures in gastroenterology, pulmonology, and otolaryngology, doctors are observing more iatrogenic (procedure related) bleeding. Thus, there is an unmet need for a coagulation device with simultaneous suction capability that can work through an endoscope.
Physicians who perform these procedures and a bioengineering expert at UK developed a technology to solve this problem. This tool has a bipolar cautery device at the tip similar to that of the most commonly used devices to control bleeding and it also has a hollow lumen that can be connected to a suction device to allow for suction. This device will be useful in many fields that utilize channeled scopes such as Otolaryngology, Gastroenterology, and Pulmonology. Outside of flexible endoscopy, there are other surgical robotic systems that could benefit from a flexible endoscopic coagulator to control bleeding intraoperatively where direct line of sight is not achievable and therefore nothing on the market currently provides the enhanced coagulation ability when suction is applied to it.
Stage of Development
Inventors have a working prototype
Can pass through various types of flexible endoscopes easily
Can do suction and coagulation simultaneously
General Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
In combination with other surgical robotic systems