The growing trend toward single port surgery is transforming several sectors of surgical technology and, most importantly, enhancing patient care.
Last week, I attended the American College Of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Chicago. In my time at Surgical Products, what I’ve learned is that while these meetings can often turn into long days—with a lot of talking and walking—they are extremely helpful in lending insight into what is up-and-coming for surgery.
At this year’s ACS, one technology seemed to overpower the rest on the show floor—Single Port Surgery.
While minimally invasive surgery is not a new trend to surgeons and surgical professionals, it seems the future of MIS is in the single-port, and various companies within the industry are offering new technology to advance this effort.
From articulating laparoscopic instruments for easier maneuvering inside the port, to 3- or 4-instrument ports, manufacturers are advancing this technology rapidly to accommodate the needs of surgeons.
Walking the show floor, though, I noticed it’s not just instrumentation that seeing this change. Displays and imaging technology now offers the latest in surgical viewing capabilities, such as high-definition viewing and 3D video, due to visualization becoming that much more crucial in the OR. Laparoscopic training equipment is now working to provide surgeons the training and practice they need to perform a single-port surgery before they reach the OR. Surgical robotics—such as the DaVinci Surgical System—provide even greater range of motion and precision during a single-port procedure.
Of course, surgeons still face challenges in single-port surgery, and the technology for these procedures has not yet been perfected. As exhibitors and physicians at ACS discussed, surgeons still face access issues through a single port and maneuvering multiple instruments sharing the same small space through a single port can be difficult.
Despite the current challenges, it’s clear that SILS is the future of surgery—from a technological standpoint, and that of patient care. Patients who have undergone a single-port procedure are seeing less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays, a faster return to normal activity, and, of course, a smaller, sometimes nearly invisible, scar.
Single port surgery and its impact on technology is just one of the many trends I noticed while walking the floor at ACS. If you were in attendance last week in Chicago, I'd love to hear about the new technologies and surgical trends you noticed. Even if you didn't make it to the show, what are some of the other trends you're seeing that could evolve surgery in the future? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org