As Florida’s only female bariatric surgeon, Dr. Tiffany Jessee has tried surgical systems claiming to make it easy to operate entirely through a single incision – only to discover that really, they didn’t.
That was before Jessee tried the TransEnterix SPIDER® Surgical System. Since adopting the SPIDER system last March, Jessee has seen such positive results that she now uses it for all medically appropriate patients.
The SPIDER system completely changes the state of single-incision surgery. With it, Jessee makes a small incision, inserts the device and opens it inside the patient’s abdomen like an umbrella. SPIDER’s expansion allows Jessee to comfortably and precisely manipulate 360-degree-rotating, flexible instruments at angles that enhance her access and dexterity at the operating site. When she is done, Jessee closes the SPIDER system and removes it through the same incision.
Jessee was the first surgeon in the world to successfully complete an adjustable gastric band procedure using the SPIDER system, supporting her patient’s weight-loss goals and leaving him with a minimally visible scar.
“The SPIDER system is completely different than any other single-port or single-incision platform out there,” she said. “With other platforms, I was constantly battling my hands – it felt like handling spaghetti using chopsticks. And it could take hours to perform procedures that normally take 15 minutes using traditional, multi-incision laparoscopic techniques because I just couldn’t see what I needed to see.”
Jessee has been impressed with how well patients recover after undergoing surgery with the SPIDER system, noting that overall, they report less post-surgical pain and return to normal activity more quickly.
“And once the single incision heals, it leaves a minimal, more cosmetically appealing scar,” she said.
Jessee performed a gastric banding procedure and corrected a hiatal hernia for country music legend Johnny Lee. His song, “Lookin’ for Love,” was featured in the popular film, Urban Cowboy, and hit the top of the country and pop charts. Lee praised the speed and comfort of his recovery.
“I was back at full blast in no time – in fact, I was on an airplane for eight hours the next day and felt absolutely fine,” Lee said. “I’ve got one small little scar that you can hardly tell is there.”
Fellowship trained in advanced laparoscopy and bariatric surgery, Jessee in 2003 founded her Largo practice, Sun Coast Bariatrics (suncoastbariatrics.com), where compassionate care meets surgical expertise.
The SPIDER system’s ability to open up inside the abdomen and its flexible instruments are proprietary technologies created by TransEnterix; they are not available in any other surgical system. Surgeons worldwide are using the SPIDER system to successfully treat obesity, colon cancer and hernias, and to remove kidneys and gallbladders.
TransEnterix partners with leading medical thought-leaders to rapidly develop pioneering technologies that advance minimally invasive surgery. Having received appropriate regulatory clearances, TransEnterix is marketing the SPIDER Surgical System in the United States and Europe. Since 2006, the company has secured $60 million in venture capital funding.
B-roll videotape, B-roll animation and high-resolution photos of the SPIDER system are available.