Internationally Recognized Urologist, Robotic Surgeon and Researcher Dr. Andrew J. Stephenson Joins Associated Medical Professionals of NY

Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.) is pleased to announce that Andrew J. Stephenson, MD, MBA, FACS, FRCS(C) has joined its care team. Specialty trained in urologic oncology and robotics, Dr. Stephenson has vast experience in diagnosing and treating urologic cancers using the latest minimally invasive technologies and more conventional approaches. Dr. Stephenson has performed more than 2,000 robotic urology surgeries in his career.

Associated Medical Professionals of NY is a leading multi-specialty practice spanning 19 locations in Central New York, including ten offices and nine hospitals. A.M.P. is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, one of the largest independent providers of urological and specialty related services in the nation, which is backed by NMS Capital.

Christopher M. Pieczonka, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Associated Medical Professionals of NY and Corporate Director of Clinical Research of U.S. Urology Partners, stated, “A.M.P. is very proud to have Dr. Andrew Stephenson join our practice. We are so excited to welcome a world renown expert and former Director of Urologic Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic to enhance and elevate the care of our local cancer patients. We look forward to the new skills and expertise that Dr. Stephenson will contribute that will put us on par with National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers.”

Dr. Andrew Stephenson said, “I am committed to excellence in patient care, research and innovations in urology. I am excited to join the team at A.M.P. as it provides me an opportunity to deliver innovative, compassionate and high-quality care to patients with complex urological problems, including cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidney and testis, BPH and prostate problems, and PSA screening. I am honored to join a team of like-minded and skilled professionals who are aligned in A.M.P.’s goals: to deliver world-class and comprehensive urological care to the people of the Syracuse community and upstate New York.”

“I am passionate about urological problems and the care of my patients. I endeavor to be my best every day for my patients. I have an unwavering commitment to developing and adopting the most effective treatments for my patients and advancing the field for future patients through clinical trials,” said Dr. Stephenson. “The state-of-the-art facilities at A.M.P. will enable me to deliver the most advanced and innovative urological care for my patients. We endeavor to be at the forefront of urological care, offering patients the spectrum of medical and surgical treatment for their urological problems.”

To learn more about Dr. Stephenson and A.M.P. or to schedule an appointment, please visit www.ampofny.com, www.ampofny.com/physicians/andrew-j-stephenson-md/ or call (315) 478-4185.                                                                                                                                                                                             

About Dr. Andrew J. Stephenson

Andrew J. Stephenson, MD, MBA, FACS, FRCS(C) is an internationally recognized urologist, robotic surgeon and researcher. Before joining Associated Medical Professionals of NY, he served as Director of Urologic Oncology at Rush University Medical Center, Director of the Center of Urologic Oncology at Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute and a staff member of the Taussig Cancer Institute. His clinical and research focus is on the treatment of patients with cancers of prostate, bladder and testis. He has published over 125 articles in peer-reviewed journals since 2002 on issues related to prostate, bladder and testis cancer, many of which have received international mainstream media attention. He has been invited to speak on these subjects at major international medical conferences.

Dr. Stephenson is board-certified in urology by the American Board of Urology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has received several awards from organizations such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology and Society of Urologic Oncology. He is listed as one of the Best Doctors in America. He received the Urology Teacher of the Year award while at Rush University and Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Stephenson has received grant support for prostate cancer research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His research focus is on the development of prognostic statistical models called nomograms. These prognostic models provide accurate predictions of treatment outcome for prostate cancer and are widely used for patient counseling. He is on the editorial board for several urology journals, including Urology, and is an ad hoc reviewer for Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Journal of Urology.

For patients with prostate cancer, Dr. Stephenson performs both nerve-sparing robotic prostatectomy using latest state-of-art approaches. The decision to perform either robotic or open prostatectomy is tailored to the specifics of each patient’s cancer and preferences. For patients with bladder cancer, Dr. Stephenson also performs robotic nerve-sparing radical cystectomy and orthotopic urinary diversion (neobladder or Studer) for both men and women. He is highly skilled on minimally invasive robotic approaches for kidney tumors and advanced kidney cancers. For select patients with testicular cancer, Dr. Stephenson performs robotic nerve-sparing lymph node dissection. He also has vast experience in minimally invasive treatments for BPH and voiding dysfunction. He has also been a pioneer in the development of biomarkers and image-guided diagnostic approaches for prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

About Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.)

Associated Medical Professionals of New York (A.M.P.) is a multi-specialty medical practice based in Syracuse serving the Central New York region. Established in 2008, A.M.P. has grown to become one of the largest multi-specialty groups of its kind in the area that strives to provide quality care at each of its ten offices and nine hospital locations. As a pivotal point of care in each community, A.M.P. is able to provide continuity of care for a vast population of patients. A.M.P. maintains a robust suite of services, including advanced urological care, robotic surgery, cancer care, radiation oncology, pathology, lithotripsy, imaging and clinical research. A.M.P. is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, one of the largest independent providers of urological and related specialty services in the nation, which is backed by NMS Capital. For more information, visit www.ampofny.com and www.us-uro.com.

Christopher M. Pieczonka, M.D., Named CEO of Associated Medical Professionals of NY, an Affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners

Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.) today announced that Christopher M. Pieczonka, M.D., has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Associated Medical Professionals of NY is a leading multi-specialty practice spanning 19 locations in Central New York, including ten offices and nine hospitals. A.M.P. is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, one of the largest independent providers of urological and specialty related services in the nation, which is backed by NMS Capital.

A nationally recognized urologist and clinical researcher with a specialty interest in the treatment of advanced prostate and bladder cancer, Dr. Pieczonka also serves as Corporate Director of Clinical Research for U.S. Urology Partners and Director of Clinical Research for A.M.P.

Corina Tracy, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Urology Partners, stated, “I am excited to announce that Dr. Christopher Pieczonka has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Associated Medical Professionals of NY. Dr. Pieczonka’s extensive expertise in urological care and commitment to clinical research have been integral to the success of A.M.P. since he co-founded the practice more than 15 years ago. His leadership will further our mission of providing the most effective, efficient and innovative urologic care to every person we are honored to serve.”

Christopher M. Pieczonka, M.D., stated, “I am both honored and humbled to take on the new role of CEO of Associated Medical Professionals. The landscape of practicing medicine is different than it was when I co-founded the practice in 2008. Technology and innovation have vastly enhanced patient outcomes and patient experiences since then. For the last several years, I  have been the director of research for A.M.P. as well as our larger consortium of practices at U.S. Urology Partners. I view my new role as being able to bring the cutting edge technology and advances in care from the research side to all of our patients in Central New York.”

Dr. Pieczonka graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine in 1997. He then completed his surgical and urologic training at SUNY at Buffalo Consortium Program in 2003. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology and is an active member of the American Urological Association (AUA), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO). Dr. Pieczonka also has been co-author of over 100 publications and published abstracts.

Dr. Pieczonka has served as the Executive Vice-President of the Physician Teamster Alliance of CNY Local #1149 and has a specialty interest in the treatment of advanced prostate and bladder cancer. He has been the primary investigator of over 50 interventional oncology studies. Dr. Pieczonka has also been designated as a UroLift® Center of Excellence physician.

To learn more about Dr. Pieczonka and A.M.P. or to schedule an appointment with the care team, please visit www.ampofny.com or call (315) 478-4185.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

About Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.)

Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.) is a multi-specialty medical practice based in Syracuse serving the Central New York region. Established in 2008, A.M.P. has grown to become one of the largest multi-specialty groups of its kind in the area that strives to provide quality care at each of its ten offices and nine hospital locations. As a pivotal point of care in each community, A.M.P. is able to provide continuity of care for a vast population of patients. A.M.P. maintains a robust suite of services, including advanced urological care, robotic surgery, cancer care, radiation oncology, pathology, lithotripsy, imaging and clinical research. A.M.P.’s provider base consists of more than 30 physicians and numerous clinical support staff practicing in 19 locations. A.M.P. is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, one of the largest independent providers of urological and related specialty services in the nation, which is backed by NMS Capital. For more information, visit www.ampofny.com and www.us-uro.com.

U.S. Urology Partners Announces Partnership with Greater Boston Urology

NMS Capital portfolio company U.S. Urology Partners is pleased to announce that Greater Boston Urology (GBU) has joined its national network of affiliate urology practices. U.S. Urology Partners’ network now encompasses over 150 providers operating throughout over 60 clinical locations in five states.

Greater Boston Urology is a market-leading, multi-specialty urology practice serving Boston and the surrounding regions. Operating throughout Massachusetts via a provider base of over 20 physicians and 10 Advanced Practice providers, Greater Boston Urology is the largest urology group within the state of Massachusetts and maintains a longstanding history and track record of premier patient care and outcomes, a combination which in turn affords GBU its market leadership position.

The affiliation marks U.S. Urology Partners’ fifth partnership of significant scale since partnering with NMS and expands the broader platform’s geographic footprint into a fifth state. In addition, the transaction further cements U.S. Urology Partners’ leadership position as one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urological care and other specialty services. U.S. Urology Partners is led and supported by a premier, purpose-built executive management team with deep experience and expertise building and growing multi-site healthcare services platforms.

Corina Tracy, CEO of U.S. Urology Partners, commented, “U.S. Urology Partners maintains a track record of partnering with premier, market-leading integrated urology practices of significant scale. As such, our transaction with Greater Boston Urology fits these criteria perfectly and represents a seamless continuation of our past strategies. As we continue to grow and expand as a platform, the team and I at U.S. Urology Partners remain excited and enthusiastic by the prospects for future growth and efficiency made available to us. We look forward to welcoming Greater Boston Urology to the U.S. Urology Partners family and executing upon our common goals and aims together.”

Dr. Michael Curran, Greater Boston Urology President, noted, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with U.S. Urology Partners and are excited by the prospects of aligning with a leading, national platform within the urology market. Our choice to partner with U.S. Urology Partners was fueled by our shared commitment to patient outcomes and vision for growth, and we look forward to executing upon our next chapter of success together.”

Luis Gonzalez, Senior Partner at NMS Capital, said, “U.S. Urology Partners’ partnership with Greater Boston Urology marks the fifth of significant scale since we partnered together to form a best-in-class urological platform. Throughout that time, U.S. Urology Partners has grown to represent one of the largest integrated urology practices in the country driven by a combination of organic and acquisition-centric strategies.”

McDermott Will & Emery provided legal advice to U.S. Urology Partners and NMS. Financing for the transaction was provided by Twin Brook Capital Partners and Crescent Capital. Stifel Nicolaus & Company served as financial advisor and Katten Muchin Rosenman provided legal advice to Greater Boston Urology.

About U.S. Urology Partners

U.S. Urology Partners is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urology and other specialty services, including general urology, surgical procedures, advanced treatment options for prostate and bladder cancer, and other ancillary services. The practice consists of over 150 providers across a network of over 60 locations throughout Ohio, New York, Florida, Indiana and Massachusetts including two ambulatory surgery centers as well as a state-of-the-art robotic surgery function. For additional information on U.S. Urology Partners, please visit our website at www.us-uro.com.

About NMS Capital

Founded in 2010, NMS Capital is an experienced private equity firm managing assets in excess of $1.4 billion. Since inception, NMS has partnered with management teams in over 100 investments and follow-on acquisitions across defined investment themes within the Business Services and Healthcare Services industries. The firm’s principal strategy is to create long-term value by providing strategic and operational resources to growth-oriented companies led by founders or experienced management teams. NMS has successfully built industry leading lower middle market companies in defensible and scalable end markets by accelerating organic and acquisition-driven growth. For additional information on NMS, please visit the firm’s website at www.nms-capital.com.

Robotic Surgery Pioneer Virtuoso Surgical Awarded $1.8 Million in SBIR Funding

Medical device company Virtuoso Surgical, Inc. has been awarded a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) NIH grant to be received over the next two years. Virtuoso’s robotic surgery system enables a new scale of robotic tools and maneuvers in endoscopic surgery that are not possible using today’s instruments.

“We are honored to receive this SBIR Phase II grant as we move toward commercialization of our groundbreaking robotic surgical system,” said S. Duke Herrell, III, MD, FACS, CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Virtuoso Surgical. “The Virtuoso system gives surgeons their hands back, enabling them to use two ’hands’ to perform procedures deep within the body, at the tip of an endoscope, with unprecedented control and dexterity.”

“For this SBIR Phase II grant, Virtuoso will continue its research regarding the use of its patented robotic technology to improve bladder lesion removal,” Dr. Herrell said. “Bladder lesion removal often does not obtain key information such as depth of invasion or margins if the lesion is a cancer, and we know that outcomes can be improved for these surgeries and patients.”

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate in this research with world renowned simulation and education expert Ahmed Ghazi, MD, and his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University Simulation Innovation Lab at the Brady Urological Institute,” Dr. Herrell said.

While Virtuoso Surgical’s initial clinical applications will likely be bladder lesions and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) tissue removal, the technology is a platform that will improve many if not all surgical procedures where tools are delivered through rigid endoscopes.

The Virtuoso Surgical system includes two robotically controlled, needle-sized manipulators working from the tip of a rigid endoscope that is less than half the diameter of a U.S. dime. The scope itself is far smaller than current robotic endoscope hardware, and the manipulators are 1mm in diameter. Equipped with a camera, the endoscope comes with an array of manipulators depending on the procedure, including a tissue grasper, retractor, tissue snare, laser aiming manipulator and electrosurgical tools.

In addition to Dr. Duke Herrell, the Virtuoso Surgical team includes Co-founder and President Robert J. Webster, III, PhD, who also founded the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE) with Dr. Herrell. They developed the Virtuoso Surgical system with a design team helmed by COO, Co-founder and Lead Engineer Richard Hendrick, PhD. Pending regulatory approval, company executives anticipate first-in-human use in early 2024 followed by regulatory submission pursuant of FDA approval for sale in the United States.

The Virtuoso Surgical system has demonstrated feasibility in animal, cadaver and tissue model studies examining use in surgeries for bladder cancer, uterine fibroids (among other intrauterine procedures), enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH), central airway obstruction removal and endoscopic neurosurgery. The technology can provide dexterity in rigid endoscopic procedures, including in urology, neurosurgery, pulmonology, gynecology, orthopedics, thoracic surgery, otolaryngology (ENT) and other sub-specialties.

Virtuoso Surgical Resources

Videos of Robotic Surgery System in Action

Articles

About Virtuoso Surgical

Virtuoso Surgical has developed a groundbreaking robotic surgery system that radically improves minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. The Virtuoso Surgical system features a pair of instrument delivery arms made of concentric nitinol tubes that mimic a surgeon’s hand motions to offer unprecedented control and dexterity to a full range of endoscopic applications. The system uses patented technology developed by Virtuoso’s founders at Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University with funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For additional information about Virtuoso Surgical and the initial public offering of common stock, visit www.virtuososurgical.net and www.virtuososurgical.net/investors. This device has not yet been approved by the FDA and is not for sale in the United States.

 

 

Mississippi Municipal League Launches Affordable Health Insurance Partnership: Innovative Collaboration Improves Access to Care, Lowers Costs

Today Mississippi Municipal League (MML) announced a groundbreaking partnership of nationally recognized health care organizations to bring small and underserved Mississippi municipalities and communities more affordable health insurance and access to better care. Powered by Ambetter from Magnolia Health, Vigilant Health, and new member services organization Mississippi Communities Health Advisers (MCHA), the partnership brings unprecedented access to coverage and care.

“We are pleased to offer this innovative partnership combining high-quality insurance with accessible care to MML members and their communities,” MML Executive Director Shari Veazey said. “Our health care task force of municipal officers evaluated this and other opportunities for more than two years under the leadership of Mayor Errick Simmons of Greenville. This search was in response to the continued need of small-town Mayors for affordable health care. We are delighted with the partnership and grateful to Magnolia Health for bringing this resource to Mississippi.”

The new program is three-fold, offering better health insurance, community-based health care, and improved access to services. Affordable health insurance through Ambetter from Magnolia Health, a Marketplace Insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, provides essential benefits and high-quality, locally based health care, at affordable rates. Aaron Sisk, CEO of Ambetter from Magnolia Health, describes Magnolia Health as a national organization led by Mississippians committed to improving the health care and the overall welfare of our state’s communities.

“Ambetter is delighted to bring much more than affordable health insurance to Mississippi communities,” Sisk said. “Our partnership with the MML and Vigilant Health is allowing us to combine comprehensive health insurance with state-of-the-art health care resources at no additional cost to our policy holders.”

Every individual who purchases Ambetter policies will have access to Vigilant Health community-based clinics and services with no waits for care, no limits on visits, and in many cases no out-of-pocket costs of any kind. Municipalities and other governmental entities who self-insure may also participate in the program to realize health plan cost reductions and improved member care through Vigilant Health.

Mississippi Communities Health Advisors (MCHA), the newly created dedicated member services organization for MML members and their communities, facilitates access to Ambetter insurance for individuals and self-insurance solutions for municipalities. The organization is led by Billy Sims, formerly Senior Vice President of Administration at Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance in Jackson.

“Together, Ambetter, Vigilant Health, and MCHA provide a powerful option for delivering insurance and care affordably using data analytics and direct health care,” Sims said. “This will have long-term positive effects on Mississippi, and we commend the MML leadership for their resourcefulness, willingness, and courage to seek new health care solutions for underserved communities.”

Mayor Jimmy Rafferty of Pass Christian serves on the board of directors for MCHA and appreciates the benefits the program will bring statewide. “This program provides enhanced access and care to municipalities and offers individuals in participating communities the enhanced services and care their municipalities receive,” Rafferty said. “It also provides municipalities too small to self-insure the opportunity to join a larger plan with the benefits of scale and management larger cities enjoy. In addition, the Ambetter policies will fill the coverage and care gaps for those ineligible for Medicaid and who don’t have access to employer health plans.”

 

About Mississippi Municipal League

The mission of the Mississippi Municipal League is helping cities and towns excel. MML is a non-partisan association established in 1931, representing 290 city, town, and village governments in Mississippi. MML is also affiliated with the National League of Cities, a lobbying, legislative, and legal arm representing municipalities before the U.S. Congress. For more information about the Mississippi Municipal League, visit www.mmlonline.com.

 

About Ambetter from Magnolia Health

Ambetter from Magnolia Health is Mississippi’s largest Health Insurance Marketplace insurer, with more than 150,000 members in 2023. Magnolia Health’s parent is the largest national Marketplace carrier with more than 2 million members. Ambetter from Magnolia Health is led by an executive team in Ridgeland and employs 200+ Mississippians. Ambetter is the only Marketplace carrier in Mississippi from the inception of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Its network of physicians and providers includes all major hospitals and physician groups in Mississippi. Ambetter is part of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace and provides subsidies that substantially reduce the costs of both premiums and out-of-pocket costs for many individuals based on family income. Over 90% of Ambetter members in Mississippi receive a subsidy to help reduce their insurance premium. Almost 50% of Ambetter from Magnolia Health members have a $0 deductible. Learn more at www.ambetter.magnoliahealthplan.com.

 

About Vigilant Health

Vigilant Health is a nationally recognized provider organization that has integrated health care delivery, information technology, and an innovative payment model to deliver predictable long-term outcomes, substantial cost savings, and high patient engagement. Vigilant produces the same superior results in every demographic, every payer group, and every market, including Medicaid, the most challenging diabetes and chronic disease patients, and under-served communities in the deep south. Vigilant’s self-insured clients include the City of Vicksburg, South Central Regional Medical Center, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Taylor Group, Levi Strauss, Baptist Health in Little Rock, and the Mississippi School and State Employees Health Insurance Plan. Learn more at www.vigilant-health.com.

 

About Mississippi Communities Health Advisers

Mississippi Communities Health Advisers was created to provide dedicated member resources for the communities and individuals who purchase Ambetter policies as part of the MCHA partnership. Its purpose is to improve access to coverage and access to care by providing essential information and guidance about the choices, coverage, and costs of health insurance. For more information, contact MCHA at (769) 241-2424 or (888) 343-2999 or visit www.mscommunitieshealth.com.

EndoTheia Announces Successful Clinical Study Results for a Novel Medical Device for Endoscopic Surgery

EndoTheia, Inc. has announced the completion of a successful first-in-human clinical study performed at Vanderbilt University for their groundbreaking technology that radically improves minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. EndoTheia is pleased to report that all primary and secondary endpoints were successfully met with no adverse events. This news follows the company’s recent announcement that the FDA recently named EndoTheia’s ENT endoscopic surgery technology a Breakthrough Device.

EndoTheia’s new device is designed to answer the FDA’s “call to action” highlighting alarming infection rates in difficult-to-sterilize reusable duodenoscopes, and calling on medical device companies to create  new, cost effective, disposable devices to treat biliary disease. “EndoTheia is proud to have been able to respond to this call-to-action from the FDA in a unique and outside-the-box way,” said Robert J. Webster, III, PhD, Co-Founder and President of EndoTheia. “We took a look at what others were doing within the space and saw mostly incremental advancements and/or costly fully disposable endoscope solutions.”

EndoTheia’s system completely eliminates the need for the duodenoscopes that concern the FDA, replacing them with inexpensive, disposable components that allow standard endoscopes to perform their same functions. “EndoTheia is pleased to report the success of this first-in-human clinical study. It is a major milestone for EndoTheia and for the 700,000 patients suffering from biliary disease per year domestically,” stated Joshua Gafford, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of EndoTheia.

“We are deeply appreciative of the patients and clinical investigators who participated in this study, and look forward to the broad clinical impact of this technology following FDA clearance,” said Gafford. He went on to thank Launch Tennessee for their support and for helping to fund the successful trial through a generous SBIR/STTR matching grant awarded to EndoTheia in August 2022.

Dr. Keith Obstein, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, noted, “This device enabled us to clearly visualize the duodenal papilla en face with a standard forward-viewing endoscope, which normally would not be possible, and has the potential to eliminate the risk of infection from reusable duodenoscopes. This would be a huge win for patients, hospitals, and healthcare systems.”

The results of this clinical study will support EndoTheia’s FDA 510(k) application for its biliary product, scheduled for submission later this year. EndoTheia plans to follow this initial product with several other product lines using its proprietary technology in urology, neurosurgery, interventional pulmonology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, and otolaryngology.

About EndoTheia, Inc.

EndoTheia has developed a novel technology that radically improves dexterity in minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. This technology harnesses the power of micro-machined advanced materials to create highly dexterous manipulators at millimeter and sub-millimeter scales to improve therapeutic outcomes in complex flexible endoscopic procedures. This patented technology was invented and developed by EndoTheia’s founders at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with funding from the National Institutes of Health. For additional information about EndoTheia and the FDA Breakthrough Device designation, visit www.endotheia.com.

Virtuoso Surgical Unveils Design of Groundbreaking Robotic Surgery System: System Resets Scale and Reimagines Future of Robotic Endoscopic Surgery

Nashville-based medical device company Virtuoso Surgical, Inc. has unveiled its revolutionary robotic surgery system. Virtuoso’s patented technology reimagines endoscopic surgery in scale, function and cost.

“Virtuoso gives surgeons their hands back, equipping them to lift tissue, apply tension and maintain traction – in tight spaces within the body,” said S. Duke Herrell, III, MD, FACS, CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Virtuoso Surgical. “These are groundbreaking maneuvers in endoscopic/endoluminal surgery that are not possible with today’s instruments.”

The unveiling of the product marks the end of the design stage for Virtuoso Surgical and progress in the regulatory phase. In September 2022, the company’s  first public offering of common stock became effective after review by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Virtuoso Surgical Co-Founder and President Robert J. Webster, III, PhD also co-founded the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE) with Dr. Duke Herrell. They developed the Virtuoso Surgical system with a design team helmed by COO and Lead Engineer Richard Hendrick, PhD. The system enables surgeons to use two hands to perform dexterous maneuvers deep within the body, at the tip of an endoscope. Company executives anticipate regulatory submission in 2024, pursuant of FDA approval for sale in the United States.

Virtuoso Surgical was born to reimagine the possibilities of endoscopic surgery, and we are pleased to move closer to making this system widely available to U.S. physicians,” Robert J. Webster, III, PhD, said. “Easier to use, more nimble and more effective than existing instruments, it stands to drastically broaden the possibilities of rigid endoscopic surgery.”

The Virtuoso Surgical system includes two robotically controlled, needle-sized manipulators working from the tip of a rigid endoscope that is less than half the diameter of a U.S. dime. The scope itself is far smaller than current robotic endoscope hardware, and the manipulators are 1mm in diameter. Equipped with a camera, the endoscope comes with an array of manipulators depending on the procedure, including a grasper, spatula, snare, laser aiming manipulator and electrosurgical tools.

“Our team set out to bring the stability and dexterity of robotic surgery to the rigid endoscopy space, and we have achieved that with the Virtuoso Surgical system,” Richard Hendrick, PhD, said. “This innovation equips surgeons to operate as though their hands were inside the body, with the minimally invasive advantages of rigid endoscopy.”

The Virtuoso Surgical system has demonstrated feasibility in animal, cadaver and tissue model studies in surgeries for bladder cancer, uterine fibroids (among other intrauterine procedures), enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH), central airway obstruction removal and endoscopic neurosurgery.

The technology can provide dexterity in any procedure where tools are delivered through rigid endoscopes, including in urology, gynecology, neurosurgery, interventional pulmonology, orthopedics, thoracic surgery, ear, nose and throat (ENT) and other sub-specialties.

 

Virtuoso Surgical Resources

Videos of System in Action

Articles

 

About Virtuoso Surgical

Virtuoso Surgical has developed a groundbreaking robotic surgery system that radically improves minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. The Virtuoso Surgical system features a pair of instrument delivery arms made of concentric nitinol tubes that mimic a surgeon’s hand motions to offer unprecedented control and dexterity to a full range of endoscopic applications. The system uses patented technology developed by Virtuoso’s founders at Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University with funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For additional information about Virtuoso Surgical and the initial public offering of common stock, visit www.virtuososurgical.net and www.virtuososurgical.net/investors. This device has not yet been approved by the FDAand is not for sale in the United States.

Dr. Po N. Lam Performs Leading-Edge Robotic Surgery with Associated Medical Professionals of NY, an Affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners

Dr. Po N. Lam, a nationally recognized urologist and robotic surgeon with Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.), is working to provide residents of Syracuse and the surrounding Central New York region access to the next generation of robotic surgery.

The introduction of robotically assisted surgery revolutionized the ability of physicians to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures, replacing the use of open surgery that requires a large incision with multiple small access points. Long-handled tools and a camera controlled remotely by the physician are inserted through these access points to perform the medical procedure.

Dr. Lam is the only surgeon in the area who has been specially trained in the technique to use the innovative da Vinci SP (Single Port) system for prostatectomy and other urological procedures. The new SP system only requires one small incision compared to previous robotic surgeries that require 4 to 7 incisions. The system includes multi-jointed, flexible instruments and fully wristed 3D camera. The instruments and the camera emerge through a single access hole and provide 360 degrees of anatomical access.

“Through my work with the new da Vinci SP, I’ve seen numerous benefits with this leading-edge technology that is now available to patients close to home in Central New York. This technology gives the surgeon much more freedom of movement and ability to see the anatomy compared to the old system,” said Po N. Lam, M.D., of Associated Medical Professionals of NY.

“One of the major advantages of the single port surgical technique is reducing the amount of pain during and after robotic surgery. This helps reduce the need for narcotics, which in turn greatly reduces the abuse and potential addiction to narcotics,” Dr. Lam explains.

“Patients are also able to leave the hospital sooner and recover faster in the comfort of their homes,” Dr. Lam continued. “With the strain on staffing at all levels, this is helpful to the patient as well as the hospital. Single port with less incisions offers many benefits to the patient, and I’m pleased to bring those advantages to the Central New York region.”

Other potential benefits of robotic surgery for patients include lower risk of infection or complications, less blood loss, less scarring and faster return to normal activities.

Dr. Lam has performed thousands of robotic procedures in Central New York in the past 16 years. He is certified in da Vinci robotic surgery and serves as a proctor for Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Dr. Lam specializes in advanced robotic surgery in the areas of prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer and difficult kidney stones. Dr. Lam is one of the top performing robotic surgeons in the Central New York region.

A podcast of Dr. Lam discussing the robotic surgery he performed at Crouse Health is available here.

 

About Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.)

Associated Medical Professionals of NY (A.M.P.) is a multi-specialty medical practice based in Syracuse, New York, serving the Central New York region. Established in 2008, A.M.P. has grown to become one of the largest multi-specialty groups of its kind in the area that strives to provide quality care at each of its ten offices and nine hospital locations. As a pivotal point of care in each community, A.M.P. is able to provide continuity of care for a vast population of patients. A.M.P. maintains a robust suite of ancillary services, including radiation oncology, pathology, lithotripsy, imaging and clinical research. A.M.P.’s provider base consists of more than 30 physicians and numerous clinical support staff practicing in 19 locations. A.M.P. is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners. For more information, visit www.ampofny.com and www.us-uro.com.

 

About U.S. Urology Partners

U.S. Urology Partners is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urology and related specialty services, including general urology, surgical and robotic procedures, advanced cancer treatment and other ancillary services. The U.S. Urology Partners clinical network consists of more than 50 locations throughout the East Coast and Midwest, including Associated Medical Professionals of NY, Central Ohio Urology Group, Florida Urology Center and Urology of IndianaU.S. Urology Partners was formed to support urology practices with an experienced team of healthcare executives and resources, and is backed by NMS Capital. The U.S. Urology Partners corporate office is in Nolensville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. For additional information about U.S. Urology Partners, please visit www.us-uro.com.

Renowned Prostate Cancer Robotic Surgeon and Urologist Dr. John K. Burgers Joins Florida Urology Center, an Affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners

Florida Urology Center today announced that John K. Burgers, MD, has joined the practice, bringing three decades of leadership and innovation in advanced robotic surgery and general urologic care to the region. Florida Urology Center is a full-service specialty group providing comprehensive services in five locations throughout Florida, including Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Orange City, New Smyrna Beach and Palm Coast. Florida Urology Center is an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, one of the nation’s leading providers of urological services.

An internationally recognized urologist and surgeon, Dr. Burgers has been practicing urology for 30 years and has more than 18 years of robotic surgery experience. He has performed more than 10,000 radical prostatectomies for prostate cancer patients, with excellent results. Dr. Burgers completed his Medical School, Internship and Residency at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. There he trained under the world-famous Dr. Patrick Walsh, the pioneer of the nerve sparing radical prostatectomy. He spent five years as an assistant professor at The James Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio, where he trained many urology residents and published numerous research articles.

Dr. Greg A. Parr of Florida Urology Center stated, “We are honored to welcome Dr. John Burgers to our care team at Florida Urology Center. In addition to his background in general urology, we are excited about Dr. Burgers’ expertise in leading edge cancer care and robotic surgery for prostate cancer patients. Dr. Burgers will support Florida Urology Center in continuing to provide the most advanced, effective treatments for prostate cancer patients in the communities we serve.“

Dr. John K. Burgers said, “I am thrilled about the opportunity to be joining such a premier urology group as Florida Urology Center, which sets the standard of care in the region. I am impressed with the highly skilled care team at Florida Urology Center and their focus on providing utmost quality patient care in a compassionate, heartwarming environment where I can continue to progress and contribute in my career.”

Dr. Burgers is consistently ranked 5 out of 5 stars by his patients and has received the Top Doctor award in Columbus, Ohio, multiple times. Dr. Burgers comes to Florida Urology Center from Central Ohio Urology Group, a leading urology practice in the Midwest that is also an affiliate practice of U.S. Urology Partners. Dr. Burgers has had a second home in Palm Coast, Florida, for more than 12 years and is an avid golfer with a membership at the Hammock Beach Resort. He and his family love the area and are delighted to bring his expertise to the northeast coast of Florida.

Consultations with Dr. Burgers are currently being scheduled for the Florida Urology Center offices in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Burgers or to refer a patient, please visit www.floridaurology.com or call (386) 673-5100.

About Florida Urology Center

Established in 1992, Florida Urology Center has five convenient locations throughout Florida, including Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Orange City, New Smyrna Beach and Palm Coast. Florida Urology Center is committed to providing quality healthcare to its patients through education, training, clinical research and support. The practice is dedicated to improving the lives of its patients by offering the most current diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives available. Facilities are equipped with the latest state-of-the art technology to provide the safest and most comprehensive care. Most of the surgeries are performed in Florida Urology Center’s outpatient surgery center licensed by the state of Florida and certified by Medicare. For more information about Florida Urology Center, please visit www.floridaurology.com.

About U.S. Urology Partners

U.S. Urology Partners is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urology and related specialty services, including general urology, surgical and robotic procedures, advanced cancer treatment and other ancillary services. The U.S. Urology Partners clinical network consists of more than 50 locations throughout the East Coast and Midwest. U.S. Urology Partners was formed to support urology practices with an experienced team of healthcare executives and resources, and is backed by NMS Capital. The U.S. Urology Partners corporate office is in Nolensville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. For additional information about U.S. Urology Partners, please visit www.us-uro.com.

U.S. Urology Partners First in Region to Provide Minimally Invasive Aquablation Procedure for Enlarged Prostate at Central Ohio Urology Group

Half of all men over the age of 50 struggle with a decreased quality of life due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate. At Central Ohio Urology Group, an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners, an innovative, minimally invasive procedure called Aquablation is changing that for patients. Dr. Scott D. Barkin of Central Ohio Urology Group is one of the most experienced Aquablation experts in Ohio and surrounding states, and has performed the procedure for more than 100 patients.

BPH is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate has grown to be larger than normal. One in two men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH, and the incidence increases each decade of life such that by age 80, 90% of men will have BPH.* If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, UTIs and incontinence, as well as inability or difficulty urinating, or urinating often.

Aquablation therapy combines real-time, multi-dimensional imaging, automated robotic technology and heat-free waterjet ablation for targeted, controlled and immediate removal of prostate tissue. Because there isn’t heat involved with the treatment, Aquablation has less effect on the structures around the prostate, helping to preserve sexual function in most patients.

“Improved quality of life is the key benefit for our BPH patients,” says Dr. Scott D. Barkin of Central Ohio Urology Group, an affiliate of U.S. Urology Partners. “Typically, our patients are seeking better urination by removing an existing indwelling catheter, eliminating their prostate medication or achieving a better night’s sleep with fewer trips to the restroom. When compared with similar treatments for BPH, Aquablation tries to spare the men’s ejaculatory function, removes more prostate tissue in a shorter time and therefore requires less anesthesia, and is only one of a few treatments designed for large prostates.”

Aquablation therapy, like similar therapies for large prostates, is performed in a hospital and is done under anesthesia. The procedure typically takes around 60 to 90 minutes (less for smaller prostates; more for larger prostates) and may involve an overnight stay depending on the size of the prostate. No incision is necessary, as the prostate is reached through the urethra.

Other BPH surgical treatments often force men to compromise between symptom relief and side effects. Patients choosing a high degree of symptom relief face possible complications such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction or ejaculatory dysfunction.

Central Ohio Urology Group physicians performing Aquablation therapy include Dr. Scott D. Barkin, Dr. William E. Bloch and Dr. Adam C. Weiser. To discuss treatment options for BPH, contact the group at 614.396.2684.

About U.S. Urology Partners

U.S. Urology Partners is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of urology and related specialty services, including general urology, surgical and robotic procedures, advanced cancer treatment  and other ancillary services. The U.S. Urology Partners clinical network consists of more than 50 locations throughout the East Coast and Midwest. U.S. Urology Partners was formed to support urology practices with an experienced team of healthcare executives and resources, and is backed by NMS Capital. The U.S. Urology Partners corporate office is in Nolensville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. For additional information about U.S. Urology Partners, please visit www.us-uro.com.