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Distalmotion Announces World’s First Hybrid Robotic Surgery


First clinical use of Swiss robot, Dexter, has taken place at the Inselspital in Bern.

Distalmotion has today announced the successful completion of a series of hysterectomy cases (removal of the uterus) with the company’s novel surgical robot, Dexter. This marks Dexter’s first clinical use and the culmination of a multi-year journey in the development of Dexter.

The world’s first Dexter surgeries in gynecology were successfully completed without complications by Prof. Michael Mueller, Dr. Sara Imboden and their team in the gynecologic oncology department of the Inselspital. This first series of Dexter surgeries is part of a pan-European Early Adopter program that aims to lead the way in making best-in-class minimally invasive care more accessible to a wider array of hospitals and patients by leveraging Dexter’s novel, hybrid approach to robotic surgery.

Dexter First Hybrid Robotic Surgery

Designed, developed and manufactured in Switzerland, Dexter is the result of several years of iterative design and development work conducted in close collaboration with world-leading surgeons. In the lead-up to this milestone, Prof. George Thalmann and his team in the Inselspital’s urology department played an elemental role in the development of Dexter, as did Dr. Dominik Böhlen, who heads the center for prostate cancer (DKG certified) at the Lidenhofspital in Bern, and Prof. Dieter Hahnloser and his team in the department of visceral surgery at the University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV).

This first case series sets up the next phase in Dexter’s quest to give more patients access to best-in-class, robotically assisted minimally invasive care. Alongside other renowned European Hospitals, the Inselspital is poised to continue to play a pivotal role in this mission, as a reference center in an Early Adopter Program conducting extensive clinical studies, and contributing towards developing standard and training protocols for various applications of hybrid robotic surgery with Dexter.

Prof. Mueller, Co-Director and Chief Surgeon at the Inselspital’s gynecology department confirms: “We have successfully completed a first case series using a hybrid approach to robotic surgery. In each of these cases the team drew on both techniques, laparoscopy and robotics, leveraging proven laparoscopic workflows where it felt these were most efficient and effective, and drawing on robotic aid via Dexter where this was most useful.”

Dr. Sara Imboden, Lead Surgeon at the Inselspital, adds: “We have piloted the interplay of robotics and laparoscopy with these first hysterectomy cases. For the long-term, we will continue to investigate this approach, confirming and assessing outcomes and techniques through clinical studies.”

Dexter is out to establish a new standard of care, where a broader range of institutions, indications and ultimately patients can benefit from robotic aid for minimally invasive surgery. Dexter’s versatility makes having more than one robot per hospital clinically and economically viable –potentially even having more than one Dexter per department. For some hospitals this would represent a giant leap forward in terms of breadth and quality of care provided.

Looking ahead, Michael Friedrich, CEO of Distalmotion, shares some perspective: “We have unboxed the surgeon, brought the surgeon back into the sterile field, closer to her/his team and patient. We had heard this approach labelled a ’win-win-win situation’ before, and we obtained CE mark for it in December 2020. Now we have clinical confirmation that it is just that: a win-win-win for patients, OR teams and hospitals. Hence, we will now bring Dexter to more hospitals in Europe, as a first step. We will collect further clinical evidence in the process and continuously remain open to further innovation and optimization, always in close collaboration with surgeons.”

View further detail on the Dexter Robot.

Source: Distalmotion.

Image Sources: Distalmotion/Dr. S. Imboden (Inselspital Bern), Distalmotion.

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