Dr. Monali Misra Praises Privacy and Comfort of New Procedure

VALENCIA, CALIF. – A man unfurls his beach towel atop the warm sand and gazes thoughtfully at the waves lapping gently at the shore. He stands up straight and cautiously removes his shirt.

So what happens next?

If the man is a patient of Dr. Monali Misra, he simply leaves his shirt on the towel and casually wades into the water. No one else on the beach has any idea that he has undergone abdominal surgery for obesity – because he bears no visible scars. He fights his private medical battle discreetly and with dignity.

“The World Health Organization recognized obesity as a disease decades ago, and like any fight against any disease, patients have the right to privacy when they are fighting obesity,” said Misra, a fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon who practices at Town Center Surgery in Valencia, Calif. “After my patient undergoes this treatment, he can go to the beach and take off his shirt without everyone noticing multiple scars. Battling weight is a private issue; no one needs to know about it.”

Misra and Town Center Surgery recently began offering patients the STARR Treatment. STARR – an acronym for Surgical Tiny Access and Rapid Recovery – allows Misra to perform gastric sleeve weight-loss surgery through a small, single incision made inside the patient’s belly button. Previously, Misra had to make five to six incisions across a patient’s abdomen to perform gastric sleeve surgery.

STARR Treatment is possible today thanks to two medical devices available through TransEnterix.

The company’s SPIDER® System gives Misra access to the patient’s abdomen via the belly button and then expands once inside it. Expansion allows Misra to operate at the surgical site using necessary angles and provides both 360-degree flexibility and proper left-right orient.

Misra also uses TransEnterix’s SPIDER® MicroLap line of tools. Each MicroLap instrument is 2.7 millimeters in diameter – significantly smaller than the 5mm to 10mm typical for laparoscopic equipment. Because the tools are so small, Misra needs only use a special skin-incision pick; there’s no scalpel and no open incisions. The patient comes away from the procedure with a barely visible, freckle-like mark.

Misra tried other “belly button” surgical platforms but quickly abandoned them because she felt they compromised patient safety by requiring surgeons to make too many concessions.

“Preceding systems didn’t offer the same freedom of movement that SPIDER offers me; I felt like my hands were constantly fighting each another,” she said. “This platform allows me to see clearly inside the patient’s abdomen and provides proper angulation. Ergonomically, it’s more comfortable on my hands and arms. In designing these tools, TransEnterix clearly listened to surgeons.”

Patients benefit because they receive fewer and smaller incisions, which should increase their post-surgical comfort, hasten their recovery and result in scars visible only to them – if visible at all, Misra added.

“In many cases, patients can go home the same day,” she said. “They experience less pain and can return to work more quickly – which also supports their desire for privacy.”

About TransEnterix
In less than three years, TransEnterix has evolved from a startup enterprise into a cutting-edge medical device company that has raised $60 million in venture capital funding and successfully commercialized operations in the United States and European Union for its ground-breaking SPIDER Surgical System. SPIDER MicroLap is the exclusive U.S. distribution of Gimmi® AlphaDur®. TransEnterix partners with medical thought-leaders worldwide to rapidly develop pioneering technologies that advance minimally invasive surgery. Visit http://www.transenterix.com.

Read more about Dr. Monali Misra.

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