Collapsible Anvil for the Surgical Circular Stapler

Joshua Hoffman1, Tyler Nelson, MS1, William S Melvin, MD2. 1The Ohio State University, 2Montefiore

The objective of our collapsible anvil is to improve the efficiency and safety of the circular stapler that surgeons utilize to create an anastomosis in cases, such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The current device, designed for open procedures and repurposed for laparoscopic surgeries, requires the surgeon to couple the anvil to the stapling head inside the abdomen. To properly place the anvil for attachment, the surgeon must pass the anvil down the esophagus or through an extra incision in the stomach. These steps are time consuming and potentially risky to the patient.

The introduction of our single-action collapsible anvil will provide surgeons with the first circular stapler that does not need assembled inside the abdomen. We estimate that our design will decrease surgical time by 20 to 40 minutes, or approximately $3,000 to $6,000 per surgery. Furthermore, our revolutionary design eliminates risky steps necessary to prepare the anvil for attachment to the stapling head.

The device is a one-piece stapler, meaning the collapsible anvil is always attached to the shaft of the stapler. The anvil is comprised of a middle portion that connects the anvil to the shaft of the stapler and two outer leaflets that pivot about the middle section. The spring-loaded leaflets provide the surgeon with open and closed anvil orientations. The closed position, favored by the spring-loaded mechanism, allows the surgeon to place the anvil through a small opening in the newly created gastric pouch. The surgeon then deploys the anvil to engage the staples and cutting blade and create the anastomosis between the small intestine and gastric pouch.

Much like the current design, the collapsible circular stapler contains a knob that controls translation of the anvil along the axis of the shaft of the device. However, the collapsible anvil requires an additional knob to articulate the leaflets and middle section. To maintain function and ergonomics of the current device, our improved circular stapler nests the control for orientation of the collapsible anvil inside the translation mechanism.

The innovative collapsible anvil for the single-action surgical circular stapler developed by Buckeye Surgical Optimizations will drastically cut operational costs and improve patient outcomes. Our first goal is to finalize the prototype that incorporates design improvements based on a 3D printed model of the collapsible anvil. Secondly, preclinical and ex vivo testing will precede in vivo and survival efficacy testing. We are continuing work with our surgical and design teams to accomplish these goals.

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