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Surgeons Use USGI Medical's EndoSurgical Operating System to Complete Live Incisionless Appendectomy at Leading NOTES Conference
Date:7/14/2008

Successful Gastrotomy Closure Technique Overcomes Main Hurdle to Widespread

Adoption of Incisionless NOTES Surgery

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- USGI Medical, Inc. (USGI) announced today that Santiago Horgan, M.D., director of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery, used the company's EndoSurgical Operating System(TM) (EOS) to demonstrate a technique that allows for appendectomy without abdominal incisions at the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research's (NOSCAR) 3rd International Conference on Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery(TM) (NOTES(TM)).

Horgan removed an appendix and then fully closed the stomach incision (the gastrotomy) from inside the stomach in front of the meeting's 300 attendees on Saturday. The NOSCAR meeting took place in San Francisco, July 10 to 12.

Horgan became the first surgeon in the U.S. to remove a patient's appendix through the mouth in late March, his 22nd "incisionless surgery" procedure. In later cases, he used USGI's EOS to close the gastrotomy through the patient's mouth following a NOTES appendectomy, another U.S. first.

The ability to close the gastrotomy from inside the stomach is considered the major hurdle to the widespread adoption of Incisionless NOTES surgery.

"The ability to close a gastrotomy safely and securely from inside the stomach represents the major leap forward in Incisionless surgery and will enable us to perform truly scarless NOTES procedures," Dr. Horgan said. "Incisionless surgery technology has advanced significantly in recent years and we now have access to expandable tissue anchors that fit across the full thickness of the stomach wall and close the opening without a risk of leaks. With the EOS, we now have an operating platform for a wide variety of procedures."

NOTES involves passing surgical instruments through one of the body's natural orifices, such as the mouth or vagina, to remove a diseased organ such as an appendix or gallbladder. Operating solely through the body's natural orifices eliminates external incisions and offers promise for less pain, shorter hospital stays, lower healthcare costs and no external scars compared to traditional and laparoscopic surgery.

"We're delighted to see leading surgeons use our EndoSurgical Operating System to advance the NOTES field," said Eugene Chen, Chief Executive of USGI. "Surgeons are also using the EOS to perform incisionless procedures within the GI tract. We look forward to the day when the millions of patients who require abdominal operations will have an incision-free alternative to painful and invasive surgery."

About USGI Medical

USGI Medical is the leader in Incisionless Surgery. USGI's EndoSurgical Operating System(TM) (EOS) provides surgeons the operating platform and specialized tools they need to perform surgery through a patient's mouth or other natural orifices, reducing or eliminating the need for external incisions into the abdomen. Operating through the body's natural orifices offers promise for less pain, shorter hospital stays, reduced risk of wound infection and no external scars -- and is rapidly becoming an option demanded by patients and healthcare providers. USGI offers surgeons and gastroenterologists the technology they need to offer millions of potential patients a less invasive surgical option. USGI estimates its initial target surgical markets to be around $7 billion in the U.S. alone.

Media Inquiries:

Hollister Hovey

Lazar Partners

hhovey@lazarpartners.com

646-871-8482


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SOURCE USGI Medical, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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