Levita Magnetics, a medical technology company, today announced the first-ever magnetic scarless robotic cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) using the FDA-approved-Levita™ Magnetic Surgical System. The surgery was performed by Dana Portenier, M.D., and Daniel Guerron, M.D., at Duke University in Durham, NC using the magnetic surgical system with only one incision in the umbilicus (belly button). The surgeons successfully mobilized the gallbladder and achieved effective exposure of the targeted surgical site during the procedure, which resulted in an invisible scar in the patient.
Over the past 20 years, robotics have greatly improved the automation of surgery, but now, with the introduction of magnetic surgery, minimally invasive procedures are reaching another level of performance. By using the magnetic surgical system in conjunction with the robotic tools, surgeons are able to maintain triangulation, perform a less invasive surgery, and overcome constraints of traditional techniques, resulting in less pain, less scarring and faster recovery times.
“The number of incisions made in a patient’s abdominal wall is the main contributing factor to a patient’s postoperative pain,” said Dr. Portenier. “Given this, an ongoing challenge in advancing minimally invasive surgery is maintaining triangulation while also reducing the number of incisions. This particular surgery shows the potential of the combined use of magnetic surgery and robotics. We are encouraged by this successful technique that proves surgeons can adequately perform retraction and conserve triangulation in a safe and efficient way. This new technique will enable us, as surgeons and caregivers, to deliver better treatment to our patients.”
The patient was a 48-year-old female who presented symptomatic gallstones as an indication for the procedure. Following the surgery, the patient had no recovery complications and experienced very low post-operatory pain. She stopped pain medications on the third day and returned to her normal activities. The patient was very satisfied with the cosmetic result of the procedure, with no visible scars.
“We view the results of this surgery as a significant step forward in advancing the use of magnetic-robotic surgery in clinical practice,” said Dr. Alberto Rodriguez-Navarro, surgeon, founder, and chief executive officer of Levita Magnetics. “For the first time, we have demonstrated that a scarless magnetic-robotic surgery is safe and effective for cholecystectomies. From a patient perspective, having a surgical procedure without any visible scar is game-changing. We strongly believe that minimizing the footprint of the surgery increases patient outcomes and satisfaction. We are evolving minimally invasive surgery.”