Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, US, has carried out the world’s first surgery using the miniaturised in vivo robotic assistant (MIRA) system developed by Virtual Incision, a medical device company.

Virtual Incision said that the robotically assisted right hemicolectomy procedure performed with MIRA was part of a clinical study of the robotic system under an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The surgery at Bryan Medical Center was performed by Dr Michael A Jobst.

Dr Jobst said: “The MIRA platform is a true breakthrough platform for general surgery, and it is extremely gratifying to be the first surgeon in the world to use the system.

“The procedure went smoothly, and the patient is recovering well. I’m excited to play a part in taking the first steps toward increasing access to robotically assisted surgery, which has clear benefits for patients.”

The MIRA Surgical Platform is a portable robot, which enables surgeons to carry out real-time minimally invasive single incision surgeries at any hospital or health centre.

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MIRA does not require the space or infrastructure usually needed for “mainframe” robotic systems, Virtual Incision noted.

The company further added that the new system has been developed to perform complex, multi-quadrant abdominal surgeries with a simple, handheld device.

Virtual Incision CEO John Murphy said: “We are ushering in a new era of innovation to bring the benefits of robotic surgery to patients everywhere.

“This first procedure is an incredible milestone that further advances our goal to expand access to the benefits of minimally invasive robotic procedures to patients to virtually any US healthcare provider, regardless of the distance from an urban centre.

“We look forward to expanding our clinical trial to additional sites and states in the coming months.”

The trial of MIRA will be performed at certain US hospitals to support its regulatory pathway to approval.