TransEnterix Inc. has announced the first human cases performed using its recently launched fully flexible advanced energy device.

The Flex Ligating Shears, which has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is designed to deliver full flexibility to the surgeon while offering ligation and division with direct thermal energy in various laparoscopic surgical procedures.

“TransEnterix now offers the only advanced energy device that completely articulates 360 degrees to provide optimal access to surgeons within the operating field, while competing technologies offer limited or no articulation,” said Todd M. Pope, President and CEO of TransEnterix. “With the SPIDER Flex Ligating Shears, we can offer surgeons the ability to attain precise angles when cutting and dividing tissue in a laparoscopic procedure.”

Advanced energy devices represent one of the most versatile and critical tools for surgeons in minimally invasive surgery. These devices deliver controlled energy to effectively ligate and divide tissue while greatly limiting bleeding in the operative field and minimizing thermal injury to surrounding structures.

Dr. Andrew Hargroder, a general and bariatric surgeon in Baton Rouge, La., was the first surgeon to utilize the new device for sleeve gastrectomy procedures.

“The SPIDER Flex Ligating Shears offered me a fast and simple way to cut and seal tissue,” Dr. Hargroder. “The device created no plume to impair visualization, sealed tissue extremely well, and appeared to minimize thermal spread. With 360 degrees of angulation, this device reaches areas where rigid instruments may have difficulty.”

TransEnterix’s advanced energy device has been created for surgeons to use with the company’s existing SPIDER Surgical System. The company intends to offer a similar device in the future for its SurgiBot system, a new patient-side robotic surgery system currently under development.