Laparoscopic instrument with an expandable tip to atraumatically push organs during surgery
The LaparoPusher is a 5mm laparoscopic device with an expandable tip designed to decrease pressure exerted on organs during surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery is commonly used because it results in less pain, faster recovery, and better cosmetic results with equivalent or improved outcomes compared to open surgery. Most instruments used in this field are designed with the intent to pull or sweep tissue. In certain circumstances, however, surgeons would prefer to push an organ directly away from them. When used for pushing, existing laparoscopic instruments risk puncturing organs due to their small contact surface area. The LaparoPusher is a novel, single-use laparoscopic instrument specialized for the purpose of atraumatically pushing organs, using a mechanism which increases the surface area of the tip that makes contact with the organ. When the surgeon slides an actuator on the handle, the tip expands radially outward from a closed cylindrical shape to a six-armed surface that can safely push organs directly away from the user. This surface can be made either completely flat or concave to provide optimal grip for different applications. The LaparoPusher distributes applied force over a greater surface area than current instruments, thereby limiting pressure points and preventing organ damage or puncture. The efficacy of the device has been demonstrated through a variety of mechanical tests and simulations, including finite element analysis and compression tests. In verification tests on animal organs, the LaparoPusher can apply over 3 times higher force than laparoscopic graspers without puncturing the tissue. Moving forward, continued prototyping and testing are necessary to improve device manufacturability and demonstrate safety and efficacy. If the LaparoPusher is able to be used in minimally invasive surgery, we believe it will address the unmet needs involved with pushing organs and improve surgery outcomes.
Dr. Matthew Clifton, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery & Chief Division of Pediatric Surgery