Closing a patient up after surgery is one of the most simple, yet time-consuming tasks performed by surgeons. Dutch medical device company, Mellon Medical, has set out to make this laborious process more efficient by developing their new suturing device, Switch, which requires only one hand to operate.
The Switch medical device has a range of applications, from stitching-up blood vessels to closing incisions made in the skin, and could save surgeons considerable time in the operating room. While the first iteration of this suturing medical device is 8 cm long and indicated for use during kidney transplants, peripheral bypass procedures and carotid artery surgery, the company plans to eventually release multiple sizes of the tool meant to perform different functions.
The medical device is designed to look like a pair of bent tweezers with a small needle and attached suture positioned directly at the tip of the Switch. With every manipulation of the tweezers, the needle is passed from one point to the other.
As the Switch requires only a single hand to operate, a surgeon’s non-dominant hand can be freed-up to perform other tasks such as presenting the tissue. Since the needle and attached suture are passed linearly between the tweezer tips, the surgeon does not need to focus on catching the needle as it passes through the tissue.
The result is a much more efficient way of suturing in the operating room. According to a press release issued by Mellon, the Switch is two times faster than conventional suturing methods.
As yet, the medical device is not approved by regulators, but Mellon plans to apply for both CE mark and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the next several years. Their initial launch is set to be focused on vascular surgery but Mellon says the technology can be applied to a number of other disciplines, including neurosurgery, urology and gynecology.