Constantly Rethinking and Reinventing
“The strength of SI is in the name - innovation. Around 27% of revenue is spent on research and development (R&D) which demonstrates our commitment to remaining at the cutting-edge of the medical device market. We are constantly thinking ahead, coming up with new technologies and expanding our intellectual property portfolio to ensure that we retain competitive advantage.
Our aim is to provide surgeons with cost-effective, high quality medical devices which respond directly to their needs. Our expert design team work together with surgeons to develop the devices by listening to their feedback and observing them in the operating theatre. We have close links with surgeons around the UK and overseas, and from this have been able to establish a Clinical Advisory Board of UK surgeons and an International Advisory Board of surgeons around the world who we work closely with to develop and test products.
We have a 360◦ product development cycle and are constantly looking to enhance and improve our existing product portfolio. We always listen to surgeon feedback on our devices and the product development cycle never ends.”
Mike White, Product Development Director
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: