Robotic surgery is not new. We are over a decade into it being standard practice for many procedures. The technology and hardware have developed, but the principle of attaching, using, and re-sterilizing bespoke instruments has not. When the first robotic programs were being set up in hospitals, the instruments were sterilized in a tray. It was all the possible tools available. As the practice evolved, surgeons found themselves only using a few key instruments in most cases. Sterilization and storage of instruments moved to individual trays. These in themselves are bulky and heavy and provide no visualization of the instrument. The current recommended practice is to peel-pack them individually and only open what you need. This extends the life (or lives) of the instrument and reduces the re-sterilization count.
This brings with it its own inherent challenges.
Robotic instruments have one end that is heavy. This means that when the package is opened, gravity and momentum take over. The shafts are flexible and prone to bending inappropriately. The tips are far more complex and delicate than those of regular instruments.
The answer is... packaging specifically designed for robotic instruments. The most common instruments right now are Intuitive’s DaVinci Xi, but the principles and sterilization cards can be adapted as the market develops.
In conjunction with a peel pouch, a sterilization card secures the instrument on a stable base while reducing the chance of shaft flex and protecting the tip. The package then has structure and integrity which protects the sterile barrier. And visualization of the instrument and key markings are maintained.
Robotic Arm Instrument Protectors are an essential tool in the care, storage, and deployment of some of the most expensive instruments in your inventory.