Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Power to Prevent SSIs - June 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 37 of 132

3 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U N E 2 0 1 7 FlexDex Surgical FlexDex Robotic Arm The robot without a robot is surgeon-powered — there are no elec- tronics, no batteries and no motors. An ingenious and relatively inex- pensive ($500) alternative to the electronic robots that would break most budgets, the FlexDex facilitates the same kind of complex suturing currently being done with great success by its vastly more expensive counterparts. There's a learning curve with the disposable device, but a company rep says it takes only a half hour or so to begin to feel comfortable with it. It fastens to the surgeon's wrist (it comes in various sizes) and works by translating hand, wrist and arm movements into corre- sponding movements of an end-effector inside the patient's body. As such, it lets surgeons drive needles at any angle. As a disposable alternative to the robot, the company says it's anal- ogous to a smartphone versus a desktop computer. "Robots are great for complex cancer cases, where you need a lot of technology," says another rep, "but we feel that facilities don't need to invest in robots for many easier procedures." Dr. Towfigh sees potential. "The price isn't low, but it's reason- able," she says. "It would be great to be able to bring robotics to out- patient surgery centers. There are so many procedures that could be done that would increase income. "Suturing is a good starting point," she adds. "The angle at which you can suture is better with a flexible tip than with the chopsticks that we currently use for laparoscopy." Her one concern: "It doesn't have the stability at the tip that I'd like to see."

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