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November 21, 2023/News Releases

Cleveland Clinic First in the United States to Use Surgery Robot with Magnetic Technology to Successfully Perform Bariatric Surgery

Robotic magnetic technology enhances minimally invasive surgery

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Matthew Kroh, M.D., performs a minimally invasive gastric sleeve procedure using a robot with magnetic technology.

Cleveland Clinic is the first medical center in the United States to have performed a minimally invasive gastric sleeve procedure using a recently FDA-approved surgery robot with magnetic technology.

Gastric sleeve surgery, also called sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the most common bariatric surgery procedures. It removes a large portion of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow “sleeve.”

Matthew Kroh, M.D., section head of surgical endoscopy and vice chair of innovation and technology with Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute, led the team that successfully performed the operation in September. Following the procedure to treat obesity, the patient is doing well.

“Advances in robotic technology allow surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery with less incisions,” said Dr. Kroh. “As a result, patients experience less pain, fewer scars and a quicker recovery.”

The combination of magnetic technology with a surgery robot enhances minimally invasive surgery and provides benefits for patients and surgeons.

Reflecting on the first case using a surgical robot with magnetic technology, Dr. Kroh highlighted the use of one of the robotic arms fitted with a surgical camera. “It is an advantage for the surgeon to control the robotic arm with the camera to view inside the body and visualize the tissues and organs during the surgery. Without the robot, the surgical camera would be fitted on a thin rod, and I would communicate with an assistant to ask for the camera to be moved.”

The robot with magnetic technology was recently approved by the FDA for minimally invasive gastric sleeve surgery.

With the use of magnetic technology, surgeons can use the magnet to gently manipulate tissue and organs as needed depending on the surgery.

For the first case, Dr. Kroh and lead surgeon Andrew Strong, M.D., used the magnetic technology to gently move the liver to see the stomach while the abdominal procedure was performed laparoscopically. Without the magnetic technology, an additional incision would have been needed so that a surgical assistant could hold the liver in place during the surgery using a laparoscopic instrument.

Dr. Kroh said that with fewer incisions, patients experience less pain and scarring. “In addition, research shows that there may be faster recovery by using magnetic technology to hold the liver in place during a procedure instead of using a surgical instrument,” said Dr. Kroh.

Prior to the FDA approval of the magnetic-assisted surgical robot, Dr. Kroh and colleagues observed the use of that platform on cases done internationally. The research paper, published in Annals of Surgery Open, concluded that the robotic platform brings the benefits of magnetic surgery by reducing incisions and provides full-camera control for the surgeon.

“Robotic technologies will increasingly incorporate more advanced imaging and navigation systems to allow us to do operations more effectively and safely,” said Dr. Kroh.

In August 2023, the magnetic-assisted robotic surgery platform was FDA-approved for abdominal surgeries, including gallbladder removal and bariatric surgery.

Since the first case at Cleveland Clinic in September, Dr. Kroh and his team have successfully performed additional procedures using the robotic platform, including a gastric bypass procedure.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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