Constantly Rethinking and Reinventing
Our 360° Design Process
We continue to enhance our intellectual property portfolio in the field of MIS with a view to ensuring competitive advantage. Since the concept team formed in 2009 the cumulative number of new UK patents applied for has reached 22, demonstrating SI’s continued commitment to the protection of our intellectual property.
We have a dedicated team who ensure the SI brand is protected in countries around the world.
Surgical Innovations' (SI's) expert design team have designed and manufactured the world’s first pretzel-shaped organ and tissue retractor; fulfilling the clinical needs of surgeons. The device PretzelFlex™ is on sale in countries around the world, and has developed an excellent reputation amongst surgeons.
The design need
SI was founded in 1992 with the development of the Endoflex™ organ and tissue retractor, which possessed unique flexible technology allowing the device to be inserted through a 5mm port access system before forming a triangular shape inside the body when deployed. Despite the Endoflex™ retractor being better than other competitor products on the market, it was found that it was not strong enough to hold some organs without sagging, largely due to the increasing size of livers which is a factor associated with a growing population of obese patients.
Providing a solution
The SI design team was tasked with producing the next generation of surgical retractor. During an ad hoc design meeting the PretzelFlex™ was born, the unique shape designed to ensure the device had the strength and stability required for bariatric (obesity) surgery, while remaining minimally invasive. The device also used flex technology so it could be inserted through a 5mm port access system and subsequently be actuated by the surgeon as it's going through the port.
The PretzelFlex™ takes advantage of patented SmartFlex™ segment technology, which means when surgeons practice the ‘advance and actuate’ technique the device can be formed using minimal space inside the abdominal cavity. The amount of space used by the PretzelFlex™ to form is less than the original Endoflex™, which is especially impressive considering it is combined with improved rigidity.
Consultant surgeon James Halstead said: