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Launch of LiVac Retractor in US gives surgeons a new, minimally invasive option for robotic and laparoscopic bariatric procedures

New, non-metal, solid organ retractor saves time and simplifies procedures for surgeons, reduces painful scarring, and improves recovery through use of gentle suction.

MINNEAPOLIS – Livac USA, Inc. announced today that its LiVac Retractor is now being used by surgeons in the United States. The LiVac Retractor, which has received FDA approval for use as a solid organ retractor in the United States, is a gentle, non-metal retractor that simplifies robotic and laparoscopic procedures and saves time for physicians, while improving the recovery process and reducing the reliance on opioids for patients. It is the only retractor which retracts the upper surface of the liver (or spleen).

The LiVac Retractor gives surgeons a non-metal retractor option for minimally invasive procedures that is highly complementary to the rapidly growing use of robotics in healthcare. This is important because half the world’s bariatric surgeries and more than 1.2 million gallbladder removals are performed in the United States every year. According to data from JAMA, robotic procedures, in general, are also growing rapidly, with 15% of all surgeries in 2018 being conducted with robotics. Meanwhile, the use of bariatric surgery is expected to grow by 9% by 2028.

Made up of a silicone ring attached to suction tubing, the LiVac Retractor is a single-use, disposable, device whose current surgical applications include robotic and laparoscopic bariatric surgeries and robotic upper gastrointestinal procedures.

The LiVac Retractor reduces trauma to the patient’s organs by using gentle suction to lift the liver out of the surgical field during procedures such as bariatric surgery and gall bladder removal. The LiVac does not require its own surgical port or incision, thereby eliminating scarring in the epigastric region that can otherwise cause discomfort for patients long after surgery. And because the LiVac Retractor is a connected system, there is no risk of lost parts within the patient.

“A surgeon’s first priority is to deliver the best possible outcome for the patient. The LiVac Retractor was created when I observed the trauma and liver damage from the very commonly used metal retractor. This inspired the conception of a gentler alternative that aligned with truly minimally invasive surgical practices and the robotics infrastructure. The LiVac supports these needs while reducing trauma to the abdominal wall and internal organs, which can exacerbate post-operative pain and heighten the need for narcotic pain management,” said Dr. Philip Gan, inventor of the LiVac Retractor System.

In clinical studies using the LiVac, the reduction in pain and discomfort translated into improved clinical outcomes for patients, as well as cost savings to hospitals. More specifically, patients experienced a better recovery with reduced use of opioids (44% less), and shorter hospital stays (up to one day less). Full results of the LiVac study were published recently in the Journal of the Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons.

“Surgeons tell us they appreciate how the LiVac Retractor simplifies robotic and laparoscopic procedures and that their patients recover more quickly, and with fewer complications,” said Anabela Correia, CEO of Livac. “Pain from surgical scarring in the epigastric region is a primary reason for the extended use of pain medications and overall dissatisfaction with the surgical process, but the LiVac helps mitigate these issues.”

According to Dr. Paul Enochs, a Bariatric Surgeon in North Carolina, the LiVac Retractor addresses several issues for physicians.

“Surgeons are always working against the clock and looking for ways to perfect their skills and deliver the optimal outcome for patients. LiVac is ideal for retracting the liver in bariatric surgery as the device does not leave an extra scar on the patient, does not have an external attachment that interferes with robotic arms, and in complex robotic cases does not require the surgeon to scrub in multiple times to reposition a liver retractor during these complex procedures” said Dr. Enochs.

In addition, because the device is made of a soft silicone material, it does not interfere with other equipment during surgery.

The LiVac Retractor has been used in more than 1,000 procedures in Europe, Asia, and Korea, and is currently in use at health systems and bariatric surgery centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The device is currently distributed in these states through SurgiCore Inc.

To learn more or inquire about availability of the LiVac Retractor, contact [email protected] or +1 612-467-9186.

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