• Alphatec Holdings (Carlsbad, California) has introduced the ARC Portal Access system in conjunction with the introduction of the minimally invasive GLIF (Guided Lateral Interbody Fusion) technique. The GLIF technique and ARC Portal Access System is designed to allow surgeons to perform lumbar interbody fusion procedures with the opportunity for less intra-operative blood loss and minimized tissue disruption; while decreasing the recovery time for most patients. The ARC system and instrumentation has been designed specifically for the GLIF technique, providing lateral access with direct visualization to the intervertebral disc space while allowing the patient to remain in a prone position. When augmented with posterior pedicle fixation, the ARC system eliminates the need to reposition the patient intra-operatively, thereby reducing the overall length of the lateral lumbar fusion procedure and potentially reducing operating room costs.

• Excelsior Medical (Neptune, New Jersey) has received FDA clearance to sell its SwabCap Luer Access Valve Disinfection Cap. SwabCap is designed to assist the caregiver and protect the patient by disinfecting their swabable luer access valve prior to line access and maintaining antiseptic conditions between line accesses – all in a passive, uniform manner. Excelsior says the thread cover design makes SwabCap an effective cleaning alternative, disinfecting the valve after five minutes of application and acting as a physical barrier to contamination for up to 96 hours under normal conditions if not removed.

• Incisive Surgical (Minneapolis) said it will launch a "significantly more user-friendly" version of its Insorb absorbable skin stapler. The Insorb|25 skin stapler places an absorbable staple underneath the skin to close surgical incisions. A surgical site infection (SSI) study will be presented by the company reviewing the experience of two community hospitals using the Insorb stapler in 877 consecutive cesarean sections resulting in an overall SSI rate of 0.8% which the authors stated "compares favorably to SSI rates in similar studies of cesarean section incisions with conventional closure modalities."

• NiTi Surgical Solutions (Chesterfield, Missouri) reported the launch of ColonRing - its closure technology for colorectal surgery. NiTi says the ColonRing with BioDynamix Anastomosis technology is a novel device intended to address the major drawbacks of circular staples. Because anastomosis (the surgical connection of two parts of a hollow organ) with the ColonRing is staple-free, there are no bowel wall punctures, no risk of staple line bleeding, and no permanent foreign bodies in the bowel. In the ColonRing, the Nitinol leaf springs stretch to open the ring for placement in the bowel, and then gradually return to their original closed position, adapting to variations in tissue thickness and accommodating compressed tissue. The Nitinol leaf springs continuously apply constant force range of pressure around the full circumference of the anastomosis. As the compression progresses over several days, the tissue trapped within the ring becomes necrotic, while healthy tissue is generated along the ring's outer perimeter.

• Positron (Indianapolis) received FDA approval for the Attrius Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner product line developed by the company and its joint venture with Neusoft Medical Systems (Shenyang, China). Positron's Attrius product line was developed to provide physicians a cardiac PET molecular imaging system. The Attrius scanner comes complete with a feature set designed specifically for cardiac perfusion imaging such as a coronary artery disease software suite that includes; mercator projections, normal database comparison, coronary artery tree and distribution overlay map, rapid segmented attenuation correction, motion correction, and open acquisition architecture for today's challenging quantitative flow reserve imaging. Positron specializes in cardiac nuclear medicine.

• Urologix (Minneapolis) has presented data on the effectiveness of Cooled ThermoTherapy. This data marks the first time Urologix has presented data on tailored treatments. Tailored treatment refers to the ability of urologists to modulate the temperature of the system for optimization of patient comfort while still delivering a clinically significant high energy Cooled ThermoTherapy treatment. The data shows improvement in both the symptomatic and obstructive components of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also referred to as enlarged prostate disease. Anecdotal reports have shown that many physicians modify the urethral temperature set point from the default setting to positively impact patient comfort during the procedure. Patented thermal modeling, confirmed by actual measurements, shows these reduced settings achieved temperatures in the enlarged prostate sufficient to trigger consistent destruction of cells. The achievement of these temperatures is what Urologix claims is essential for achieving significant symptomatic and obstructive improvements.

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