Design to slash keyhole surgery injuries

Failed clinical insertions for keyhole surgery could be reduced after researchers developed a new needle which self-retracts to avoid potentially fatal injuries.

Failed clinical insertions for keyhole surgery could be reduced after researchers developed a new needle which self-retracts to avoid potentially fatal injuries.

Developed by Nottingham Trent University and Olberon Medical Innovations, an automatic mechanism prevents the accidental and dangerous puncture of a patient's organs at the start of laparoscopic surgery.

Data from the National Patient Safety Agency shows that between 2003 and 2010 there were 48 serious incidents relating to laparoscopic surgery, including 11 deaths.

Although complications are rare, bowel perforations or bile duct injuries which remain undiagnosed until after theatre can result in life threatening complications such as circulatory collapse or septic shock.

The new needle – a modified trocar which is used to penetrate abdominal muscle and skin – uses a mechanism which, based on changes in pressure, causes it to withdraw the moment it enters the abdominal cavity.

The pressure of the insertion inflates a diaphragm which activates its own withdrawal by the force of a tiny spring after it passes through the muscle and tissue.

The design – which is patent protected - is a modified version of a self-retracting cannula by the same team, appropriated for keyhole surgery.

The team says the design, which builds on existing designs but with additional components, can provide value for money, save time and reduce the suffering of patients.

This advanced trocar is a significant improvement on existing products.
Dr Arash Bakhtyari, the managing director of Olberon Medical Innovations

Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh, a professor of intelligent engineering systems at the University's School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, said: "It's imperative that the trocar is improved to help avoid the kinds of accidents which can cause serious and fatal injuries, no matter how rare.

"This simple invention could be an important tool which prevents accidents and enables surgeons to carry out this routine procedure with increased confidence at a lower risk of injury to the patient."

The prototype was developed by Professor Al-Habaibeh and research assistant Joaquim Justino Netto, a student from Brazil on placement as part of the Science Without Borders scholarship.

Dr Arash Bakhtyari, the managing director of Olberon Medical Innovations, which is based in France, said: "This advanced trocar is a significant improvement on existing products and highlights the importance of industry working with academia.

"Through the longstanding and successful collaboration between Nottingham Trent University, we have developed a novel medical invention which has the potential to help doctors and patients around the world."

Design to slash keyhole surgery injuries

Published on 10 November 2014
  • Category: Business; Research; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418