gallbladder

Miret Surgical

Stanford University

Gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) is the most common general surgical operation in the US, with more than one million cases each year. 600,000 of these are elective, laparoscopic cases performed with ports and a camera, a minimally invasive approach that leaves no visible scar. But these scar-free techniques are burdened by steep learning curves, safety issues and high costs.

Miret Surgical is developing a safe, fast and cost-effective solution for scar-free surgical removal of the gall bladder. Miret’s system uses a novel modular instrument design to wed the advantages of pediatric laparoscopic tools with standard laparoscopic tools. Surgeons assemble and use as many of these modular instruments as needed, and after surgery the patient is left with a hidden incision in the belly button and a few tiny punctures, which will heal quickly and without noticeable scars.

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Laparo-Lineater

University of Virginia, 2010 - $9,732

The laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, is one of the most frequent surgeries performed in the United States, with an estimated 922,000 performed annually. Although laparoscopic removal significantly decreases surgical risk and recovery time, difficulties can arise when removing a gallstone-ridden gallbladder through a twelve-millimeter port. An important step in the surgery occurs when the physician puts the gallbladder into a laparoscopic retrieval bag (endobag); gallstones bulge at the bottom of the bag and can become wedged in the removal site.

To solve the problem, this E-Team is designing an endobag that employs cross-linked synthetic fibers nestled between pieces of polyurethane to create a structure similar to a novelty finger trap. When the surgeon pulls up, the contents inside the endobag lineate (form lines) due to the resulting radial force, preventing bulging of the gallbladder during extraction. The device integrates with the current procedure and tools; no new techniques or equipment are necessary.

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