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USGI Medical Demonstrates First System for Gastrotomy Closure in NOTES
Date:12/19/2007

Gastrotomy Closure Considered Largest Hurdle in Adoption of Incisionless

Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES)

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- USGI Medical, Inc., the leader in the emerging field of Incisionless Surgery, today announced that its EndoSurgical Operating System(TM) (EOS) is the first surgical platform to effectively close a gastrotomy (an incision in the stomach wall) during a NOTES procedure in the US. Leading surgeons demonstrated the gastrotomy closure technique with the EOS at two recent academic courses in NOTES and Dr. Nathaniel Soper, Vice Chairman of Clinical Affairs and Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Department of Surgery, presented clinical results of the use of system in patients.

"USGI Medical's EOS allows surgeons to overcome the largest hurdle in the adoption of NOTES techniques -- the ability to close a gastrotomy from inside the stomach," said Dr. Mark A. Talamini, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. "No other endolumenal tools or clips have been shown to close the full thickness of the gastric wall, the way surgeons would prefer. Now that it's possible to close the gastrotomy through the mouth, surgeons can begin to eliminate the laparoscopic ports they used to guide their first NOTES cases in patients."

In NOTES, a small camera and surgical instruments, like the EOS, are passed through the body's natural orifices to operate on abdominal organs without making external incisions into the body. Because NOTES procedures require no skin incisions, they are expected to result in less pain, lower risk of wound infection and reduced recovery time as compared to traditional surgery and may eventually be performed with the patient under sedation, rather than general anesthesia.

"In three years, we've gone from conceiving concepts and barriers to this field to applying the techniques in the operating room," said Dr. Santiago Horgan, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Director of the Center for Treatment of Obesity at the University of California, San Diego Medical School. "Soon we will be able to perform numerous procedures, including gall bladder surgery, appendectomy, liver biopsy, and many others using NOTES techniques. Because of the versatility of the system, the EOS can also be used to create and anchor full thickness folds within the stomach, opening the door for Incisionless obesity-related procedures."

The University of California at San Diego hosted the first of the two NOTES events, the "Hands-on NOTES Course," from December 6 to 8 in San Diego. The Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons held their "New York-Presbyterian Hospital First Annual International NOTES Course" on December 10 and 11 in New York.

About the USGI EndoSurgical Operating System (EOS)

The USGI EndoSurgical Operating System(TM) (EOS) includes the TransPort(TM) Multi-lumen Operating Platform, the g-Prox(TM) Tissue Grasper and Approximation Device, g-Cath(TM) Tissue Anchors and a variety of endosurgical tissue graspers. The EOS addresses many of the challenges of Endolumenal and NOTES surgery and provides surgeons the operating platform and tools they need to cut, sew and manipulate tissue through the narrow confines of the body's natural lumens.

About USGI Medical, Inc.

USGI Medical is a privately held, venture-backed medical device company committed to the development of technologies to enable Incisionless EndoSurgery. Located in San Clemente, California, USGI Medical was founded in October, 2001 and backed by Alta Partners, a leading life sciences venture capital firm. http://www.usgimedical.com


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SOURCE USGI Medical, Inc.
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