Improving surgical outcomes
Virtual Incision Corporation, a company developing advanced robotically assisted surgical devices, today announced that it has closed $11.2 million of equity financing. Led by Bluestem Capital, the round was oversubscribed with broad participation from existing investors, including PrairieGold Venture Partners.
The funding will be used for a feasibility study on the use of the company?s miniaturized robotically assisted surgical technology for colon resection, a procedure performed to treat patients with lower gastrointestinal diseases such as diverticulitis, Crohn?s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. More than two million patients undergo colon resection procedures globally each year.
Approximately two-thirds of these procedures are performed via a completely open surgical procedure involving an 8- to 12- inch incision and up to six weeks of recovery time. Because of the complicated nature of the procedure, existing robotically assisted surgical devices are rarely used for colon resection surgeries, and manual laparoscopic approaches are only used in one-third of cases.
?Virtual Incision seeks to enable a minimally invasive approach to a variety of procedures that are typically performed ?open? today, with the potential to improve clinical outcomes and health care costs, which would benefit all stakeholders ? patients, physicians, hospitals and payors,? said John Murphy, CEO, Virtual Incision. ?We are excited that our technology holds the promise to make a meaningful impact for patients with colon conditions, who can face difficult procedures and long recovery times with traditional techniques.?
In contrast to today?s large mainframe-like robots that reach into the body from outside the patient, Virtual Incision?s less-invasive robot platform design features a small, self-contained surgical device that is inserted in its entirety through a single incision in the patient?s abdomen. Designed to utilize existing tools and techniques familiar to surgeons. Virtual Incision?s robot will not require a dedicated operating room or specialized infrastructure, and, because of its much smaller size, is expected to be significantly less expensive than existing robotic alternatives for laparoscopic surgery. Due to these technological advances, the system could enable a minimally invasive approach to procedures performed in open surgery today.