Portland, Oregon (PressExposure) April 20, 2011 -- As a mother who has had four C-sections, Amy Boyle knows first-hand how uncomfortable abdominal surgery can be and how long it can take to recover afterward.
So when her surgeon, Dr. Emma Patterson, proposed using SPIDER MicroLap tools during Boyle's recent gastric band weight-loss procedure because they don't require open incisions, Boyle gladly accepted the offer.
"I was all for trying something new and different," Boyle said. "I keep up with four very active children, so it was important to me that I get back on my feet after surgery as quickly as possible. I felt no discomfort at all, and I can barely tell I've even had surgery. I'm just so pleased with how well everything went. Dr. Patterson is amazing."
A nationally renowned expert in bariatric surgery, Patterson recently began using the new SPIDER MicroLap surgical instruments and performed the nation's first gastric band procedure with them.
Each instrument in the SPIDER MicroLap line is 2.7 millimeters- significantly smaller than the 5- to 10-millimeter diameter typical for laparoscopic equipment. Because SPIDER MicroLap tools are so small, the surgeon uses a special skin-incision pick - there's no need for a scalpel because there are no open incisions. The patient comes away from the procedure with a barely visible, freckle-like mark.
While other companies sell laparoscopic instruments that are less than 5 millimeters in diameter, TransEnterix offers the only complete and re-useable set of sub-3-millimeter instruments on the market.
"While the trend toward less invasive surgery is nothing new, I found previous tools ergonomically difficult to use," Patterson said. "The MicroLap instruments work exactly like their larger predecessors - but in a manner that is less invasive for patients and more effective for surgeons."
Patterson described the SPIDER MicroLap instruments as an exciting development that advances bariatric surgery and ensures greater patient privacy.
"The incisions are barely visible, if visible at all," Patterson said. "Many patients want to achieve what they consider 'bikini weight,' so they are particularly excited about the increased privacy these tools provide. Now we can perform gastric banding on an outpatient basis and patients have scars the equivalent of a freckle. This is a great advance for patient privacy."
Patterson - the CEO of Oregon Weight Loss Surgery, LLC, and the co-founder of Doctors of Weight Loss, LLC - was the first surgeon in the Pacific Northwest to specialize in laparoscopic bariatric surgery.
TransEnterix's SPIDER MicroLap instruments are crafted from a proprietary ceramic-titanium alloy that ensures strength despite their small diameter. They can be used independently or with TransEnterix's SPIDER Surgical System, the only single-incision and multi-port system that delivers intra-abdominal triangulation, 360-degree flexible instrumentation and a stable operative platform. Using both together, surgeons can perform advanced procedures through less invasive means.
NOTE TO MEDIA: High-resolution photos of SPIDER MicroLap instruments are available on request.