Transcript Excerpts

Order it

How The Latest Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques Promise A Shorter Hospital Stay, Less Pain And A Faster Recovery Time

Episode #



National #7


April - Sept

(see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)

Broadcast Excerpts

Applied Medical

A cruel combination of diet, inactivity and heredity makes the U.S. market for gastric surgical procedures, one of the largest in the world. Almost half of the adult population of the U.S. is overweight and statistics indicate there may be over 5 million people classified as morbidly obese. Traditional surgical techniques to treat these ailments have been available for generations, but the number of procedures actually performed remains small. This is due primarily to the invasive nature of these procedures, requiring, large painful incisions and long recovery times. Patients typically preferred to stay on medication or to attempt losing weight non-surgically when faced with the traditional surgical option.

There is, however, a growing shift towards a relatively new surgical approach known as Laparoscopy. A specific device known as a Hand Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery device was developed to enable surgeons to conduct these minimally invasive surgeries. And the team responsible for this device? A team of specialists at Applied Medical Group, a company out of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Pat Matthews talked with these scientists and got an insight about the new path of surgeries in the future.

Applied Medical is one of a new breed of medical device companies, capable of implementing Research and Development effectively and affordably. Applied says they have great pride in their dynamic, integrated teams of engineers, product and business managers and operational leaders who all joined Applied to make a difference. These teams say they consistently develop concepts into products in a third of the typically expected development time.

The Applied teams have launched a portfolio of 150 pending or issued patents covering 12 technologies and over 250 products to achieve leadership positions in new, minimally invasive and established surgical procedures. The company focuses on four specialties: Cardiac, Vascular, General Surgery and Urology. And research indications are that they reinvest high percentages of their earnings towards development and market implementation of technologies.

Offering a major surgical breakthrough, that is, a less invasive alternative to traditional, open surgical procedures, the Applied Intromit is a laparoscopic hand port, that enables surgeons to perform complex surgical procedures through a very small incision. But pioneering new surgical procedures is not new to Applied Medical, apparently, the company is known and respected for its innovations in practices and technology. With 18 % of its revenue invested in R& D, Applied seems to be exceptionally adept at developing, manufacturing and delivering medical devices.

We were told that the first application for this type of modality is donor kidney procedures. The donor kidney is removed through a port called Intromit and the donor recovery and pain are shortened by days. But this was only the beginning. This approach has already spread to gastric and bowel procedures. Experts estimate that over 1 million surgical procedures, worldwide are potential candidates for this approach.

The experts say this new technology results in procedures that are far less traumatic to the patient than open surgery. Given these facts, it is easy to see why patients are now requesting HALS techniques for their surgeries. Many surgeons report that patient demand for HALS procedures, especially the type used to treat obesity, is growing rapidly.

Currently the US has the ability to make úsmart bombsÓ that see their target, but many of our medical devices are relatively blind. Experts believe in the coming years many of the medical devices that travel within the blood vessels or behind anatomies will have built-in visualization capabilities. Applied Medical says they have already introduced such a device with the capability of enabling the surgeon to see and navigate within blood vessels during a procedure called in-situsaphenous vein by-pass procedure. With all this new technology on the horizon, the promise we all hear about for the future of surgery seems all the more real.