Urologists recently performed the first robotic-assisted surgery to remove kidney stones from a patient using a new urology platform known as the MONARCH.
Physicians from the University of California Irvine (UCI) Medical Center are the first to use the robotically assisted platform during a clinical trial.
"This clinical study is the first in the world to research and demonstrate the potential for improved navigation, access, clearance, and control in mini-[percutaneous nephrolithotomy] procedures using the MONARCH platform for urology," said Dr. Jaime Landman, chair of the UCI School of Medicine Department of Urology.
Kidney stone procedures aided by the use of a robot are designed to help surgeons maintain a precise instrument location, giving them the freedom to perform several tasks simultaneously.
Approximately one in every 11 Americans will experience a kidney stone. Ureteroscopy procedures are the gold standard for removing kidney stones but are becoming increasingly difficult to perform as stone sizes increase, according to researchers.
PCNL procedures — a minimally invasive way to remove kidney stones by a small puncture through the skin — are effective in treating patients with larger kidney stones but comprise only about 8 percent of stone procedures done in the U.S. today.
Ethicon’s clinical team will use performance data from the kidney stone removal procedures to enhance the platform for training and education purposes, researchers said.
The MONARCH contains electromagnetic targeting technology that enables a urologist to precisely access the kidney and results in more successful outcomes during a single procedure, according to Ethicon.
The MONARCH is the first flexible robotic-assisted platform cleared for use in both bronchoscopy and urology procedures.