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MONARCH Platform for Urology Used to Treat First Patient With Kidney Stones

The Johnson & Johnson medical tech company Ethicon recently announced the first patient to receive robot-assisted removal of kidney stones while using the MONARCH Platform for Urology. UCI Health, which is the clinical enterprise of the UCI (University Of California, Irvine), use the platform to complete the first robot-assisted EM (electromagnetic)-guided percutaneous access and PCNL (mini-percutaneous nephrolithotomy) procedure. The study includes a collaboration with a co-investigator, Dr Mihir Desai from USC (University of Southern California). “This clinical study is the first in the world to research and demonstrate the potential for improved navigation, access, clearance and control in mini-PCNL procedures using the MONARCH Platform for Urology,” said Dr. Jaime Landman, chair of the UCI School of Medicine Department of Urology and director of the UCI Health Kidney Stone & Kidney Disease Services. “In addition to potentially helping urologists achieve stone-free patients in a single procedure, this approach could help reduce the need for retreatment after kidney stone removal and decrease risks and complication rates.”

 The idea behind the MONARCH Platform is to create new treatment paradigms, which help to improve the lives of patients as the first robotic platform to be cleared for use in urology and bronchoscopy procedures. It allows urologists to navigate within the kidney using robotic assistance, which aids access and clearance using a handheld controller, providing urologists with a single platform to support ureteroscopic and PCNL (percutaneous nephrolithotomy) procedures. Using robotic assistance for the removal of kidney stones allows surgeons to maintain instrument positions to a precise degree, as well as allowing multiple tasks to be performed simultaneously. UCI Medical Center, which is part of UCI Health, has become the first hospital in the US to utilize the MONARCH Platform for Urology. It received 510(k) clearance in April 2022 from the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).
“The prevalence of kidney stones remains high, and many urologists seek a new treatment option that reduces overall retreatment and complication rates. In patients who require treatment through surgery, close to one in two will require retreatment within five years,” said Dr. Mihir Desai, USC. “After years of work, we are thrilled to be a part of this first clinical series which introduces a new treatment to improve outcomes for patients in need,” said Landman.

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