Distalmotion and the University Hospital Tübingen have today announced the successful completion of gynecological surgeries using Dexter®. This marks Dexter’s first clinical use in Germany.
Prof. Dr. med. Diethelm Wallwiener, Prof. Dr. med. Sara Brucker, Prof. Dr. med. Bernhard Krämer and their teams used Dexter in several surgical procedures including the removal of an ovarian cyst (cyst extirpation), the removal of an ovarian tumor (adnexectomy) and the removal of a patient’s uterus (hysterectomy).
Robotic aid is a supplement in “keyhole surgery“ and a surgical robot is most useful for tasks like dissection and resection that require the highest degree of dexterity and precision. Prof. Wallwiener, Prof. Brucker and Prof. Krämer’s teams drew on support from Dexter for these types of tasks.
The extent to which a surgical robot can contribute to optimizing procedure workflows and outcomes needs to be investigated further. To address this the team in Tübingen will carry out a clinical study in cooperation with Distalmotion.
Proposing a new solution
Robotic aid can be very beneficial in minimally invasive surgery. Yet only a fraction of hospitals can afford and sustain the investment in a surgical robot. Dexter was designed and developed to address this fundamental challenge for healthcare systems worldwide.
Dexter proposes a new approach, tailored to surgeons’ needs, reducing complexity, and making robotics more accessible. The associated concept is called on-demand robotics and is based on the principle of flexibly catering to surgeons’ specific preferences and requirements in the OR.
Investigating a new solution
On-demand robotics has recently been adopted in select European countries. First in Switzerland, then in France and now the University Hospital Tübingen’s Department for Women’s Health and Gynecology has become the first German OR team to investigate and deploy the concept.
Prof. Wallwiener explains: “The underlying design hypothesis is that we surgeons like to be in total control of the OR at all times, and that we would like to be able to choose and employ the tools and techniques that we deem best for our patient in every step of a procedure.”
Commenting on the relevance of the underlying design-thinking, Prof. Wallwiener confirms: “That sounds like someone read the surgeon’s mind.”
He adds: “Following early tests and exploration, we have now conducted first formal investigations to confirm whether this new concept can deliver on its promise. We are mapping out the path to further bolster our investigation with additional clinical evidence.”
Prof. Brucker weighs in: “Our first experiences indicate that on-demand robotics redefines the relationship between surgeon and robot. The concept simplifies robotics, to make it user-friendly and to give us total control of the OR. The idea may seem obvious and simple, but the proverb ‘simplification is the ultimate sophistication’ applies when dealing with the complexities of laparoscopic surgery and robotics.”
Based on his first surgeries with Dexter, Prof. Krämer summarizes: “On-demand robotics gives us direct access to our patient and all surgical instruments – at all times. These benefits are new to robotic surgery. Initial experience suggests that this new freedom of choice can weigh strongly in empowering surgeons across a variety of indications and case-types.”
Our CEO Michael Friedrich comments: “A surgical robot is not always the surgeon’s best helper. Sometimes other tools and techniques are preferable. When the robot is needed, Dexter is available on-demand, quick and easy for surgeons to setup and operate. Surgeons can operate from the robotic console whenever they deem robotics their best helper for the given patient and procedure, that can be intermittently by leveraging ‘the switch’ between modalities, or it can mean employing the benefits of robotics more extensively, non-stop even. That is the essence of on-demand robotics, and we are excited to see this paradigm shift in robotic surgery gain traction in Germany now too.”