Lincoln firm uses its robot for first time in operating room at Bryan

  Virtual Incision used its surgical robot in a successful surgery at Bryan Medical Center. | CRAIG CHANDLER, UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

A Lincoln company that designs and makes small surgical robots has accomplished a milestone.

Virtual Incision said Monday that the first surgery using one of its devices was completed at Bryan Medical Center.

The surgery, done by Dr. Michael Jobst, deployed Virtual Incision's robotic assistant in the partial removal of a patient's colon. The surgery was done laparoscopically through an incision in the navel.

“The procedure went smoothly, and the patient is recovering well. I’m excited to play a part in taking the first steps toward increasing access to robotically assisted surgery, which has clear benefits for patients," Jobst said in a news release.

The surgery was performed as part of a clinical study of the device under an Investigational Device Exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The study will be conducted at a limited number of U.S. hospitals.

Virtual Incision said the benefits of using the device go beyond just being safer for the patient.

The device is small and portable, weighing only 2 pounds. The system is designed to enable complex, multi-quadrant abdominal surgeries using a simple, handheld device.

Its smaller size also means it costs less, which can make it more affordable for smaller hospitals and for hospitals that might lack the funds to invest in robotic surgery systems.

“We are ushering in a new era of innovation to bring the benefits of robotic surgery to a broad range of facilities, with the goal of providing access to patients everywhere,” John Murphy, Virtual Incision CEO, said in the release. “This first procedure is an incredible milestone that further advances our goal to expand access to the benefits of minimally invasive robotic procedures to patients at virtually any U.S. health care provider, regardless of the distance from an urban center. We look forward to expanding our clinical trial to additional sites and states in the coming months.”

Virtual Incision, which was founded by University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering professor Shane Farritor and University of Nebraska Medical Center professor Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov, is headquartered at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Read More>>

By | Lincoln Journal Star