A Medical Device Daily

Covidien (Mansfield, Massachusetts), a global provider of healthcare products, reported today that its Surgical Devices business unit has provided a $500,000 grant to the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research (NOSCAR; Oakbrook, Illinois) to establish the Covidien NOTES (Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery) Research Fund.

"Covidien's support for research will allow physician investigators to lay the foundation for a new form of therapy called NOTES that could lead to less pain and more rapid return to full activity for patients," said David Rattner, MD, co-chair of the NOSCAR Working Group.

NOTES is an emerging system that allows abdominal surgeries using flexible endoscopes passed through a natural body orifice so as to reduce wound infections and visible scars.

The report was made in conjunction with the organization's 2nd International Conference on NOTES, held recently in Boston.

NOSCAR is a joint initiative supported by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE; Oakbrook, Illinois) and the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES; San Diego). Via NOSCAR, the societies said they hope to introduce NOTES in a safe way that will provide an even less invasive way of undergoing surgical procedures.

Robert DeSantis, general manager, Endolumenal/NOTES, said, "As was the case with laparoscopy, the paradigm shift to NOTES will certainly require advances in technological innovation, comprehensive clinical research, and the highest level of professional medical education."

The International Conference is designed to explore the challenges in bringing transgastric endotherapy into the clinical realm, the organizers saying that "the growing capabilities of therapeutic flexible endoscopy have ushered in a new era in treatment of gastrointestinal conditions."

Refinements in laparoscopic surgery have progressed to the point that complex surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass, can now be performed in a minimally invasive fashion, setting the stage for the development of even less invasive methods to treat conditions in both the gut lumen and in the peritoneal cavity.

In other grant news: Florida Hospital Orlando said that Alan Ginsburg and the Ginsburg Family Foundation have given it a $20 million gift, the largest gift in its history.

It said that the funds will support the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute to be located inside the new patient tower at Florida Hospital Orlando.

The new 15-story tower currently under construction at Florida Hospital Orlando will be known as the Ginsburg Tower and will be the tallest hospital building in Florida.

When completed, the Ginsburg Tower will house the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute and advanced cardiovascular technology, including one of the largest cardiac catheterization labs in the country, cardiac diagnostics, cardiac rehabilitation, electrocardiography, and cardiac research.

One new technology that will be available next year at the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute is computerized remote-controlled guidance of cardiovascular procedures from Stereotaxis (St. Louis).

Florida Hospital is currently conducting a Centennial Campaign that officially kicked off in November 2006 at its annual gala. With the Ginsburg Family's gift, Florida Hospital has now raised $92 million toward its $100 million goal.