Update From Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS)

Just back from the annual meeting of the SLS.  The SLS is the only multidisciplinary society dedicated to minimally invasive surgery (MIS).  They are really trying to position themselves as the high-tech surgical society and it shows.  I will follow up with in depth reviews of what was new and noteworthy there.  Major highligts to follow in upcoming posts will include:

1) natural orifice surgery — poised to become the next wave in surgery with no external incisions — travel through the bodies natural openings (mouth, anus etc) then cross outside the GI track.  Potential to revolutionize surgery if its does not prove to be worthless or deadly first.  The jury is still out as its just being developed.

2) Device development session with Tom Fogarty, MD – the king of MD inventors and a panel of VC’s.

3) new tools for further miniaturized procedures

4) New autofluorescence based laparoscope- presented for the first time.  Incredibly exciting- allows the surgeon to see lesions invisible to the naked eye.  Presentation focused on endometriosis but huge potential cancer applications.  I think its incredible but am very biased as the author of the study!

5) Robotics everywhere but the best don’t need them.  Lots of debate– today the robots main use is as surgeon extender.  It is primarily being used to enable those surgeones lacking laparoscopic skills to perform laparoscopic procedures.  However what happens when it breaks and its 1.4M$ price are roadblocks.  Lots of debate to review.

6) Simulators.  Huge push coming for simulators to become the foremost tool for training and skills assessment.  I have beeen involved since my days at Yale and real progress has been made.  Lots to review here.

Leave A Comment