Covidien has reported positive results from a trial of its first powered surgical stapling system, which offers deeper access, better visibility and easier placement inside the low pelvis than a competing mechanical stapling device.

The iDrive handle is a battery-powered and reusable handheld stapler that holds 32 titanium DST Series staples in two double-staggered rows, and features an integrated knife to bisect the underlying tissue.

In the pre-clinical study, surgeons performed pelvic dissections on 12 male cadavers to compare Covidien’s iDrive powered handle and right angle linear cutter with Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s Contour curved cutter stapler.

Weill Cornell Medical College clinical surgery associate professor Toyooki Sonoda said that study showed that they were able to reach deeper into the pelvis with better visualisation using Covidien’s device.

"In some patients, this could potentially mean improved tumour clearance, or even the difference between having a permanent colostomy or not,” Sonoda added.