FDA supports robotic device as hysterectomy helper


Surgeons have a new tool for use in benign hysterectomies with the Food & Drug Administration’s authorization for marketing of the Hominis Surgical System, a robotic-assisted surgical device. The marketing authorization was granted to Memic Innovative Surgery.

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The FDA reviewed the device through the De Novo classification review process, a regulatory pathway for low- to moderate-risk devices of a new type.

The robotically assisted surgical device (RASD) is designed to facilitate transvaginal hysterectomy procedures and salpingo-oophorectomy procedures in patients without cancer.

RASDs are not robots and require human control, but they allow a surgeon to use computer technology to control and move surgical instruments inserted through incisions or orifices. “RASD technology facilitates performing minimally invasive surgery and complex tasks in confined areas inside the body,” according to an FDA press release announcing the authorization.

“The FDA continues to support advancements in safe and effective medical devices that can improve patient experiences when undergoing surgical procedures,” Binita Ashar, MD, of the Office of Surgical and Infection Control Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the press release. The device represents another minimally invasive option for noncancerous conditions requiring gynecologic surgery.

The FDA also is establishing controls to ensure safety and effectiveness for RASDs, including labeling and performance testing requirements. “When met, the special controls, along with general controls, provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for devices of this type,” according to the press release.

The Hominis Surgical System involves the use of minimally invasive surgical instruments inserted through the vagina. A video camera is inserted laparoscopically through an abdominal incision; the camera allows the surgeon to visualize the instruments inside the patient.

“The FDA will require the manufacturer to develop and provide a comprehensive training program for surgeons and operating room staff to complete before operation of the device,” according to the press release.

The FDA reviewed data from a clinical study of 30 patients aged 37-79 years who underwent transvaginal total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy or salpingectomy for benign conditions.

Observed adverse events included minor blood loss, urinary tract infection and delayed healing of the closure made at the top of the vagina (vaginal cuff) that is done as part of a hysterectomy, according to the FDA. However, all 30 procedures were completed with no need for conversion to an open or other procedure.

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