Magnet-assisted laparoscopic surgery was developed to recapture the triangulation that is afforded by conventional laparoscopy while decreasing the number and size of the abdominal incisions. Specialized magnetic graspers are inserted into the peritoneal cavity through a 12-mm cannula and are attached to an intraabdominal organ and are controlled by powerful external magnets.
By repositioning the external magnet on the abdominal wall, the intraabdominal magnet moves to provide further traction on an organ (gallbladder, appendix). Because the magnet is not fixed at the level of the fascia, it can freely cruise around the peritoneal cavity, extending the surgeon’s reach without the need for additional ports.
Magnet-assisted laparoscopic surgery has been used in a range of operations in adults and has proven to be safe and effective.5,6 Introduction of this magnetic platform into our surgical armamentarium has altered our approach to conventional laparoscopy and has allowed us to perform true single-port laparoscopic surgery. Herein we describe our experience with the use of magnet-assisted laparoscopic surgery in children.
The magnetic grasping forceps are used as standard laparoscopic grasping forceps without damage to the abdominal wall, skin, fat, muscle or peritoneum. They can be moved within the abdominal cavity, using the external magnet with adjustable force.
This feature is especially useful when the procedure takes place in different quadrants, for example in gallbladder or appendix surgeries or in laparoscopic abdominal explorations. The use of magnetic grasping forceps allows to limit the number of incisions or, if they cannot be avoided, helps choosing the most appropriate location.
The magnetic grasping forceps are intended to be used through ports or trocars of 12mm diameter or higher.
How Imanlap device works
The IMANLAP magnetic grasping forceps can be moved over the entire anterior wall of the abdominal cavity by means of the external magnet. The forceps can thus be moved from one side of the abdomen to the other if needed. The device can be applied and repositioned as many times as needed.
The device has, in one of its branches, a free orifice into which a commercial suture can be inserted. This safety link allows to easily retrieve the graspers if they are to fall into the abdominal cavity. The device exerts an externally adjustable force on the element it holds: from 0 if the external magnet is not applied on the patient to 800 grams in lift or retraction (depending on the thickness of the patient’s abdominal wall).
To reposition the magnetic grasping forceps, grasp them with traditional forceps and move them to the desired location.