While working as a first assistant on various advanced Robotic assisted Laparoscopic surgical procedures, like so many others, Robert Novell experienced difficulties showing surgeons what they needed to see during surgeries. Patient anatomy often prevented access of the rigid straight 5mm suction/irrigation to surgical regions, Interference with other surgical instruments was often a challenge, and when aiding with surgical dissections difficult orientations were often at issue. When bleeding occurred, providing visibility at the bleeding site for the surgeon, the quicker this can be accomplished, the better.
Robert confirmed the need for such a device with surgeons and 1st assistants. They all agreed that they needed this device, and they would ask for this disruptive technology as part of their surgical routine.
So, in late 2017 Robert began working on a concept that would allow for a curving of the suction device. After several designs and prototypes, with the intent to produce a device that would complement the current rigid suction shafts, the Novell Suction device was born.
Following a full patent granted in November 2021, a company was formed to bring this device to market with the intent to respond to surgeons’ needs and provide the ability to perform better and safer surgeries. The company name came from the robotic surgery space where the robot has 4 arms. Robert’s arm was also directing laparoscopic instruments, so Robert’s arm, in a sense was the “Fifth Arm”.
Fifth Arm Surgical is focusing on bringing this device to market early 2023 and is reviewing other needs that have been identified during laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.