Intuitive wins FDA clearance for robotic surgery accessories and tools

Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) announced FDA's 510(k) clearance for its single-site instruments and accessories. Intuitive says single-site technologies enable surgeons to operate through an incision in patients' umbilicus (or belly button) during cholecystectomy, benign hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy procedures. The devices include an 8-millimeter endoscope, docking system and redesigned arms, according to a release. The clearance comes on the heels of the clearance of its EndoWrist Stapler 30 instruments and reloads. The move comes amid new competition from TransEnterix, and planned competition from Verb Surgical--a joint venture of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Verily--and Medtronic ($MDT). Many analysts believe that Intuitive will remain well ahead of the aspirants for quite some time because of constant upgrades and incremental innovations, such as the launch of new accessories that support the main surgical platform. More