As laparoscopic and robotic procedures become more and more common, there is an increasing need for new and better surgical instruments. NorthShore University HealthSystem is actively seeking a company interested in commercializing a surgical instrument that improves the ability of surgeons to perform procedures where bodily structures must be separated from surrounding tissue. Separation at the juncture between the structure and the adjacent tissue is often desirable, but can be technically difficult and time consuming for relatively thin, elongate structures such as tendons, veins, nerves, arteries, and the like. Therefore, physicians at NorthShore University HealthSystem developed a new instrument to remove these structures for which traditional methods of surgery produce a variety of negative medical complications. This surgical tool can be used for minimally-invasive, either partial or complete laparoscopic and robotic procedures to efficiently remove the structure and reduce the risk of complications.
Provides for improved surgical procedures to separate and remove thin, elongated structures from surrounding tissue such as removal of the ureter or other similar laparoscopic surgeries.
- This instrument simplifies removal of the distal ureter and facilitates the surgeon’s ability to use laparoscopic surgery, thus decreasing the potential for adverse complications.
- The ability of surgeons to perform removal of the ureter by laparoscopic methods reduces surgical time and patient morbidity.
The surgical instrument was originally developed by NorthShore University HealthSystem physicians to facilitate procedures to remove the distal ureter through a standard laparoscopic port. This is critically important because cancer involving the drainage system in the lining of the kidney (transitional cell carcinoma) mandates nephroureterectomy, removal of the kidney, ureter, and a bladder cuff. Today, surgeons often employ minimally-invasive, laparoscopic techniques, but management of the distal ureter remains one of the more challenging problems. Moreover, current approaches to ureteral excision are controversial as they may require additional incisions (open removal), repositioning of patient (transurethral), are technically challenging (transvesical), or lack completed excision of the ureter and bladder cuff (UBC) (transperitoneal stapling or fulguration). Accordingly, this new instrument and technique will allow surgeons to perform transperitoneal laparoscopic or robotic resection of the UBC.
Patent Status: Patent Pending (US Patent Application 11/247,429)
About The Inventor
Dr Johnston is a board certified Urologist who specializes in adrenal, kidney, and prostate cancer and disorders. He joined NorthShore University HealthSystem (formally Evanston Northwestern Healthcare) and the Department of Urology at Northwestern in 2004 after completing his fellowship. He was responsible for starting the robotic surgery program at NorthShore. He has been the recipient 2 Academic Achievement Awards for his research and, most recently, awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In 2009, NorthShore became affiliated with the University of Chicago and Dr. Johnston was appointed Assistant Professor. He is an instructor of robotic surgery for Intuitive Surgical and has proctored surgeons in robotic prostatectomy throughout the country. He is a section editor for the Journal of Endourology.
In January of 2012, Dr. Johnston joined the Michigan Institute of Urology in metro Detroit and is currently focusing his practice in the western suburbs of Novi, Northville, Farmington Hills, and Livonia, Michigan.
Dr. Johnston’s research focuses on biomedical engineering. His projects aim to improve surgical outcomes and decrease patient morbidity by improving techniques and instruments used during laparoscopic and robotic surgery. He has 20 published articles in peer-reviewed journals, over 30 presentations at regional, national, and world meetings. In September of 2009, Dr Johnston was granted a US Patent for a new surgical instrument used for kidney cancer (US Patent: 7,591,817) and currently has his 2nd patent under review. He is currently developing a new method to visualize cancer during robotic prostatectomy and recently launched free iphone apps called "kidney stone app" and "Uroflow"to help patients record their fluid daily fluid intake that is important in kidney stone prevention and to help patients assess voiding problems caused by an enlarging prostate, respectively.
Please contact us
for more information.