Dana Portenier and Daniel Guerron performed the surgery at Duke University in Durham, NC using the FDA-approved-Levita Magnetic Surgical System with only one incision in the umbilicus (belly button).

Levita Magnetics claims that the surgeons were able to mobilise the gallbladder and achieved effective exposure of the targeted surgical site.

The procedure was performed on a 48 year old female patient who presented symptomatic gallstones as an indication for the procedure. After the surgery had been completed, there were no recovery complications and the patient experienced less post-operatory pain.

The patient stopped taking pain medications on the third day and returned to her normal activities. There were no visible scars on the surgical site, she had also satisfied the patient, according to the company.

According to the California-based medical device company, robotics played an important role in the automation of surgery in the past two decades. It also noted that surgeries could reach new heights with the introduction of magnetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures.

By using magnetic surgical system in conjunction with robotic tools, surgeons are able to maintain triangulation, perform less invasive surgeries and overcome the constraints of traditional techniques, resulting in less pain, less scaring and faster recovery times.

Levita Magnetics founder and CEO Alberto Rodriguez-Navarro said: “We view the results of this surgery as a significant step forward in advancing the use of magnetic-robotic surgery in clinical practice.

“For the first time, we have demonstrated that a scarless magnetic-robotic surgery is safe and effective for cholecystectomies. From a patient perspective, having a surgical procedure without any visible scar is game-changing.

“We strongly believe that minimizing the footprint of the surgery increases patient outcomes and satisfaction. We are evolving minimally invasive surgery.”

Portenier said: “The number of incisions made in a patient’s abdominal wall is the main contributing factor to a patient’s postoperative pain.

“Given this, an ongoing challenge in advancing minimally invasive surgery is maintaining triangulation while also reducing the number of incisions. This particular surgery shows the potential of the combined use of magnetic surgery and robotics.

“We are encouraged by this successful technique that proves surgeons can adequately perform retraction and conserve triangulation in a safe and efficient way. This new technique will enable us, as surgeons and caregivers, to deliver better treatment to our patients.”

Image: Levita Magnetics' magnetic surgical system. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.