In the United States (U.S.) and Europe, more than three million laparoscopic procedures are performed each year. As the importance of aesthetics increases, surgeons are faced with the challenge of performing the requisite tasks of laparoscopic surgery through smaller incisions and fewer ports. Visualization of the target tissue is of paramount importance but is often compromised by organs and soft tissue overlaying the desired anatomical target.
Founded in 2006, Virtual Ports, an emerging life science medical device company, is dedicated to bringing a higher level of performance to laparoscopic surgery through the use of proprietary MicroAnchoring™ Technology to provide secure laparoscopic organ retraction using exceptionally small-profile devices. Virtual Ports designs and manufactures the only products capable of using existing ports to retract organs entirely from within the body cavity. These devices allow the surgeon to perform critical procedural functions without cluttering the laparoscopic workspace.
Virtual Ports solutions optimize tissue access and visualization by allowing surgeons to atraumatically retract the organ obstructing the surgical field of view by lifting it and anchoring it to the intra-abdominal wall. The Virtual Ports hand instrument, used to deploy the retractor, is then removed from the surgical port, so it is available for other uses. In contrast to conventional laparoscopic surgery, which requires the use of dedicated ports, incisions and auxiliary personnel solely for organ retraction, the Virtual Ports approach results is complete organ retraction without the need of a dedicated port or assistant.
The Virtual Ports concept was born of collaboration with leading surgeons in the fields of endoscopy and urology in Israel and the U.S., with the goal of eliminating the dedicated port for organ retraction, thereby improving patient outcomes and lowering direct labor and surgical materials costs. Clinical applications include cholecystectomy, general, bariatric, oncologic, gynecologic and urologic surgeries, colon resection, robotic and single port surgery.
The EndoGrab™ Port-Free Retractor and EndoLift™ Port-Free Retractor were registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2007, and received CE Mark in August 2009. A third product, the EndoClear™ Endocavity Laparoscope Cleaning Station, designed to allow surgeons to clean the lens of the laparoscope without removing it from the body, received FDA clearance in April 2008. Since their introductions, Virtual Ports products have been used in more than 8,000 procedures worldwide, and have been incorporated into surgical practice at leading medical centers in the U.S. including The Cleveland Clinic, Stanford Medical Center and Tampa General Hospital.