Surgical Robotics Technology

Dr. Brian Harkins Becomes the First Person to Use New AirSeal Abdomen Surgical Technology: Lowering Air Pressure in Cavities


Dr. Brian Harkins, MD, a leading surgeon based in Tomball, Texas, has become the first person to use an innovative AirSeal technology that aids minimally invasive abdominal cavity procedures. Dr. Brian Harkins, MD, who helped pioneer the technology throughout its development, successfully used it for three procedures the day after it was approved.

Dr Brian Harkins, who specializes in robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgery, was identified as an industry leader who had successfully used previous variations of the technology across thousands of procedures. Despite his experience, the doctor was shocked and honored to be asked to use the technology and was thrilled to be the first.

Across the three operations on a gallbladder, inguinal hernia, and ventral hernia, Dr. Brian Harkins completed each at pressures of no more than 10 millimeters of mercury. He said this was a significant improvement a would make a substantial difference in patient outcomes.

Below, we detail the new AirSeal abdomen surgical technology and outline Dr. Brian Harkin’s involvement in its pioneering development:

AirSeal provides another step forward in abdomen surgical technology and patient care:

For Dr. Brian Harkins, developing, utilizing, and pioneering advancements in surgical technology has been a staple of his work since 1997. In just over two decades, he has accomplished thousands of robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgical procedures in all areas of general surgery.

Having used AirSeal since its launch back in 2012, a technology that stabilizes the presence of gas in the abdominal cavity and circulates carbon dioxide in and out of the body, he is accustomed to its benefits to both surgical procedures and patient care.

However, what was particularly of interest to the doctor was AirSeal’s ability to lower gas pressure during surgery and reduce the number of incisions required to use the technology. At first, this was limited to laparoscopic surgery and was used primarily by urologists and gynecologists. However, recent developments have broadened its usefulness in a broader array of surgeries while allowing surgeons to limit pressure and incisions.

Following a number of years of development, in which the doctor worked closely with AirSeal and their partners, the new technology was approved. As the first person to use the technology, Dr Brian Harkins MD believes that it can benefit his patients with shorter stays in the hospital, fewer complications, and better outcomes. He also continues to provide surgeons with maintained visibility during procedures.

What the patients had to say following the surgery:

One of the first people to have surgery using the new AirSeal technology was Patricia Arnold, a Tomball resident. She was advised by friends that the following gallbladder operation, she would experience pain afterward.

Patricia’s experience was, in fact, the opposite. Thanks to Dr. Brian Harkin’s expert hand and the innovative AirSeal technology, not only were fewer incisions required but less pressure meant that Patricia did not experience pain or have any problems in the aftermath. Patricia was able to walk and spend time chatting with her daughter after the procedure.

How Tomball, Texas, has become a world leader in pioneering robotic surgical technology:

Dr. Brian Harkins, MD admits that Tomball may not be the first place that springs to mind for innovating robotic surgery. However, HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball has and continues to pioneer the process and the technology involved.

In April 2021, the hospital was accredited as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery by the Surgical Review Corp. Dr. Brian Harkins continues to play a thriving role in cementing Tomball’s reputation as a world leader and an innovator in robotic surgery.

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