Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. announced completion of the first clinical case involving its FlexShears™ Endoscopic Scissors. The new device was used to cut and remove an obstructing eroded suture from the patient's GI tract in a procedure that embodies the Apollo vision of improving patient care with flexible surgery.
The subject of the case had undergone a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 2001, and subsequently had suffered from protracted obstructive symptoms. A recent EGD performed to evaluate the patient's obstructive symptoms identified an eroded non-absorbable suture traversing the mid-lumen immediately distal to the gastric pouch as the probable cause.
"The thinking was that an open surgical procedure to remove the suture would be the likely next step," said the patient.
Wishing to avoid a subsequent surgery and the complications that can follow, the patient — himself a retired surgeon — began researching alternative therapies. An article in Obesity Surgery on the utility of endoscopic scissors in removing endolumenal sutures led the patient to the article's author, Dr. Subhas Banerjee, (Director of Endoscopy, Stanford Hospital) who was able treat the condition endoscopically.
The scissors used in prior suture removal cases conducted at Stanford were fragile and ill-suited to the application. Aware of the pre-commercial availability of the FlexShears scissors — which incorporate novel blade technology and rotational ability — Dr. Banerjee contacted Apollo in preparation for the case.
Accessing the gastric pouch with a therapeutic gastroscope, the offending suture was readily identified and easily cut using the FlexShears scissors. In comments to Apollo's representative, Dr. Banerjee mentioned that the new scissors exceptional cutting ability and rotational capability provided a vast improvement over previous, similar devices.
The entire procedure took only minutes and was performed under light, conscious sedation, enabling a quick recovery.
Following the case "I was eating several hours later without difficulty and the procedure seems to have relieved nine and one-half years of obstructive [symptoms]", wrote the patient in a follow-up correspondence to Apollo.
The decreased invasiveness, cost and recovery time of this procedure compared to the surgical alternative demonstrates the patient care benefits that Apollo Endosurgery offers through the development and introduction of its flexible surgery devices.