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TMCNet:  Surgeons of the University Hospital Essen Complete World's First Robotic-Assisted Cancer Surgery with Medrobotics' Flex® System

[July 21, 2014]

Surgeons of the University Hospital Essen Complete World's First Robotic-Assisted Cancer Surgery with Medrobotics' Flex® System

ESSEN, Germany --(Business Wire)--

Leading surgeons of the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at the University Hospital Essen completed the world's first robotic-assisted cancer procedures with the Medrobotics' Flex® System. Professor Stephan Lang PD, Dr. Urban Geisthoff and Dr. Pia Haßkamp successfully performed the removal of a malignant lesion in one patient and the removal of a benign lesion in a second patient.

Professor Lang and Dr. Hasskamp performing cancer surgery with the Flex(R) System, a first of its ki ...

Professor Lang and Dr. Hasskamp performing cancer surgery with the Flex(R) System, a first of its kind flexible robot system. (Photo: Business Wire)

These patients are also the first two enrollees in a multi-center post-market clinical follow-up study in Germany and Belgium, which will prospectively treat up to 80 subjects who are candidates for oropharyngeal or hypopharyngeal transoral surgery. The study is designed to assess the safety and performance of the Medrobotics Flex® System for access and visualization of structures in the mouth and throat down to the level of the voice-box.

The Flex® System, designed and manufactured by Medrobotics Corporation, enables surgical procedures where conventional line-of-sight technologies are either not feasible or sub-optimal. Surgeons can navigate the Flex® System around anatomical structures to hard-to-reach locations through a single access site, and then use the onboard high-definition vision system to precisely deloy flexible surgical instruments. The uniquely "wristed" 3mm Flex® Instruments enable the surgeon to operate in confined spaces, further extending his or her reach to important and often challenging areas of the anatomy.

"Using rigid instruments, surgeons sometimes cannot adequately access and visualize lesions minimally invasively", said Prof. Lang. "The combination of a flexible endoscope in conjunction with flexible instruments as provided by the Flex® System can be advantageous, especially in patients with challenging anatomy."

Minimally invasive surgery has demonstrated advantages for patients and providers compared to traditional open procedures, decreasing hospital stays and recovery times. The Flex® System was designed to provide an affordable, easy-to-use robotic-assisted surgical platform for hospitals and surgeons seeking to provide minimally-invasive treatment options to the broadest number of patients.

About University Hospital Essen

As a maximum care hospital, The University Hospital of Essen (UK Essen) is currently the largest university centred in one location in the Ruhr region and therefore "the Hospital of the metropolitan Ruhr area." With its 1,300 beds, the hospital treats around 50,000 inpatients and 165,000 outpatients each year. The total of 5,800 experts working in the most varied disciplines in 27 clinics and 22 institutes are a guarantee for excellent, interdisciplinary diagnostics and therapy in line with state-of-the-art research. The triad of research, teaching and healthcare constitutes the overarching field of the entire work at UK Essen - while always focusing on the individual. In addition to the research field of genetic medicine, immunology and infectiology, UK Essen has also successfully concentrated for a number of years on the three priority areas of oncology, cardiovascular diseases and transplants. With the West German Tumour Centre Essen, Germany's largest tumour centre, the West German Heart Centre Essen, which performs more than 2,000 operations per year, and the top international transplant centre, where all the vital organs, i.e. liver, kidney, pancreas, heart and lungs, are transplanted, UK Essen has built up an outstanding position.

About Medrobotics

Medrobotics Corporation ( is a privately-held company headquartered in Raynham, Massachusetts that manufactures and markets the Flex® System, a robotic-assist platform that provides surgeons with single-site access and visualization of hard-to-reach anatomical locations. The Company's vision is to provide more patients with access to minimally invasive surgery. Medrobotics recently received the CE mark for its Flex® System, which is available on a limited basis in Europe. These products are not currently approved for sale in the U.S.

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