Invuity unveils illuminated breast retractor system

Invuity recently introduced its illuminated breast retractor system at the American College of Surgeons' 97th Annual Clinical Congress in San Francisco. The system is designed to address illumination, a large problem in less-invasive surgery, as company CEO Philip Sawyer (pictured) told FierceMedicalDevices.

Traditionally, surgeons have had to rely on overhead lamps for illumination during this type of surgery, Sawyer explained, as there were no devices with built-in cameras and lights to guide the surgeon. But Invuity's offering integrates the company's proprietary Eigr illumination technology into an optimized retractor to enable surgeons to improve visualization of anatomic structures during these procedures. It is designed specifically for breast mastectomies, lumpectomies, sentinel node biopsies and reconstruction procedures; however, it could eventually have broader applications, as Sawyer noted.

The Eigr technology uses optical structures to control light output to a targeted operative space. The technology virtually eliminates shadows, back reflections, glare and thermal effects such as overheating, according to a company release. It is also ergonomically designed so surgeons have greater comfort and maneuverability.

The company, which began operations in 2004, initially focused on the orthopedics, but always knew it would broaden its offerings, Sawyer told FMD. Indeed, there has been intense interest in the company's technology, especially in the breast physician community, which saw a dramatic need for this sort of offering.

Already, the company has seen considerable interest from bigger companies in integrating its technology. In addition, it has had discussions with a smaller company for a pioneering approach to spinal surgery, Sawyer said.

Sawyer also emphasized that his company's technology is sophisticated, with broad applications. Furthermore, there are low regulatory barriers for getting the technology approved, and therefore fewer delays getting the products to market.

- check out the Invuity release