Medtronic Announces First Procedure in Europe with Hugo™ Robotic-Assisted Surgery System

Robotic prostatectomy performed by a doctor Alexandre Mottrie at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Ziekenhuis (OLV) in Aalst, Belgium

DUBLIN and AALST, Belgium, February 2, 2022 /CNW/ – Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT), a global health technology leader, and OLV Hospital Aalst today announced that the first clinical procedure in Europe was performed with the Hugo™ robot-assisted surgery (RAS) system. The robotic prostatectomy was performed by Prof. Alexandre Mottrie, MD, head of the urology department at OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgiumand Chairman and CEO and Founder of the BelgiumORSI Academy, a multidisciplinary center for training, research and development and data analysis to improve best practices in minimally invasive surgery.

“Performing the first-ever procedure in Europe with the Hugo RAS system is a career highlight,” said Dr. Mottrie. “With over two decades and 4,000 robot-assisted surgery procedures under my belt, I am intimately aware of the barriers that have prevented doctors, hospitals and patients from realizing the benefits of surgical robotics. Now, I believe that we are entering a new era filled with greater access and greater flexibility.”

A form of minimally invasive surgery, robot-assisted surgery offers fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, faster return to normal activities, and smaller scars than open surgery.1–3,†

“This is an exciting and important time for healthcare in Europe and we are proud to share it with Dr. Mottrie and the team at OLV,” said Megan Rosengarten, president of the Surgical Robotics business, part of Medtronic’s Medical Surgical portfolio. “Dr. Mottrie left a significant mark on our program over the many years we worked together, and now, through our partnership with OLV, Medtronic’s journey to bring the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery to more than patients in Europe is on the right track.”

The Hugo RAS System – Medtronic’s solution to the historic costs and usage barriers that have kept surgical robotics out of reach for many hospitals – is a modular, multi-quadrant platform designed for a wide range of procedures on soft tissues. It combines wrist instruments, 3D visualization and Touch Surgery™ Enterprise, a cloud-based surgical video capture and management solution, with dedicated support teams specializing in patient optimization, service and training. robotic programs.

In 2021, Medtronic announced the first urology and gynecology procedures with the Hugo system in Latin America and Asia Pacific. These procedures and cases in Europe will be part of the Hugo RAS System patient registry, which collects clinical data to support regulatory submissions worldwide.

“The Hugo RAS system brings the long-awaited power of choice to the category and will redefine everything robot-assisted surgery can make possible,” said Henk Westendorp, Senior Country Director Benelux at Medtronic. “Medtronic thoughtfully designed the Hugo RAS system with surgeons and patients in mind to overcome current barriers to adoption in a future-proof way. We know that by innovating real solutions for the way surgeons want to work – alongside partners like OLV Hospital Aalst who share our passion for advancing patient care – we can have a substantial impact.”

“We are extremely proud to have left our mark on medical history as the very first center in the region to adopt surgical robotics in 1999,” said Pierre Verhulst, Managing Director, OLV Hospital Aalst. “Decades later, we are thrilled to be recognized as a center of excellence in robotic surgery, leaving another indelible mark as the premier hospital of any Europe to offer the Hugo RAS System and the first in the world to feature both Medtronic RAS platforms — the Hugo System for soft tissue and the Mazor™ System for spine surgery. OLV Hospital closely follows innovation in the medical world and often plays a pioneering role in the introduction of new minimally invasive techniques. The worldwide reputation of our OLV doctors in the field of robotic surgery and other minimally invasive procedures is the result. With the Hugo RAS system, we are again at the forefront, with the latest medical innovation designed with the patient at heart.”

The Hugo RAS system is commercially available in certain geographies. Regulatory requirements in each country and region will determine approval, clearance or market availability. In the EU, the Hugo RAS system is CE marked. In Canada, the Hugo RAS system has a medical device license. The Hugo RAS system is approved in Australia. In the United States, the Hugo RAS system is an experimental device that is not for sale. Touch Surgery Enterprise is not intended to direct surgery or aid in the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition.

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About OLV Hospital Aalst, Belgium
OLV Hospital offers a wide range of medical consultations, examinations, interventions, treatments and follow-up – both in outpatient centers and in full hospitalization – on the Aalst campus, the Asse branch and Ninove Medical Center. OLV Hospital always strives to minimize the impact of an intervention on the patient so that a faster recovery is possible. Because of this, OLV Hospital is also a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive techniques and precision surgery with the help of the operator robot. Doctors and staff at OLV Hospital make every effort to offer Top in Care. In addition to the physical health of patients, they also want to ensure their well-being in all its aspects and at all stages of life.

With 2,554 employees and more than 300 doctors and liberal health professionals, OLV Hospital is the largest employer in the region, and with 959 beds (including 114 in outpatient care) and more than 90,000 admissions (hospitalization and outpatient care) per year, OLV Hospital is one of the largest non-teaching hospitals in Flanders.

About Medtronic
Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, the global health technology leader boldly tackling the toughest health challenges facing humanity by researching and finding solutions. Our mission – to relieve pain, restore health and extend life – brings together a global team of more than 90,000 passionate people in 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies address 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. With our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help everyone in need, we deliver innovative technologies that transform two people’s lives every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we deliver insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we design the extraordinary. For more information about Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), visit and follow @Medtronic on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

†Compared to open surgery.

1. Fitch K, Engel T, Bochner A. Cost differences between open and minimally invasive surgery. Care protocol. 2015;24(9):40–48.

2. Tiwari MM, Reynoso JF, High R, Tsang AW, Oleynikov D. Safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of common laparoscopic procedures. Endosc surgery. 2011;25(4):1127-1135.

3. Roumm AR, Pizzi L, Goldfarb NI, Cohn H. Minimally invasive: poorly reimbursed? A review of six laparoscopic surgical procedures. Surg Innov. 2005;12(3):261–287.


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