FreeHand robotic camera holder reduces operating time in laparoscopic surgery

Clinical research results presented by Salisbury District Hospital surgeons also show reduction in length of stay and adverse events

OR Productivity (ORP) has announced the results of a clinical study of the FreeHand robotic camera holder presented at the 26th International Congress of the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES).

Conducted by the surgical team at Salisbury District Hospital; the study compared the use of the FreeHand system with manual camera holding in laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication).

The still image provided by the robotic system enables faster and more-precise surgery with a corresponding improvement in results

And the results demonstrated a statistically-significant reduction in operating time of 36 minutes as well as a trend towards fewer adverse events, shorter lengths of stay, and less post-operative clinic visits.

ORP chief executive, Jeremy Russell, commented: “These results confirm the FreeHand benefits that are being reported to us across our user base.

“The still image provided by the robotic system enables faster and more-precise surgery with a corresponding improvement in results.

“I would like to thank the team at Salisbury for their work on this study showing the potential of FreeHand to help improve surgical efficiency within the NHS.”

The mean length of stay was 1.5 days in the FreeHand-assisted group compared with two days in the conventional group.

Complications were both fewer - 16% vs 30% - and less severe, with all complications in the FreeHand group Grade 1 on the Clavien-Dindo classification system, compared with 87% of complications in the manual groups classified as Grade 2 or higher.

And 11% of patients in the FreeHand group required more than one post-operative clinic visit, compared with 25% in the manual group.

“Case times significantly shortened, real savings, a trend to improved outcomes and a great tool for training. What is there not to like?” said Charles Ranabaldo, consultant general and vascular surgeon at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, who led the study.

It is estimated that over eight million laparoscopic procedures annually could benefit from the FreeHand system.

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