Virtual Ports Receives FDA Clearance to Market the EndoClear™
The EndoClear is the world's first FDA-cleared device that can be used to clean
endoscopic cameras inside the abdominal cavity during laparoscopic surgery. It is
the second product developed by Visual Ports to receive FDA clearance in the two
years since the company was founded.
Virtual Ports, Ltd. (http://www.virtual-ports.com), which develops products for use
in laparoscopy, announced today that it has received FDA clearance to market the
EndoClear™, a device for cleaning the lens of the camera used by surgeons during
During the course of laparoscopic procedures the camera lens gets dirty repeatedly.
Today the camera has to be withdrawn from the abdominal cavity to be cleaned—a
process that wastes time, increases the risk of infection, and interrupts the surgeon’s
concentration. The EndoClear is a cleaning station that can be inserted into the
abdominal cavity so that the camera can be cleaned rapid and efficiently without
distraction to the surgeon.
There have been a number of attempts to address the camera-cleaning problem in the
past, most involving modifications to the camera itself. Because of technological
problems and limitations associated with the surgical environment, no device for
cleaning a camera inside the abdominal cavity had, until now, received FDA
clearance. Virtual Ports’ solution to the problem is a freestanding disposable device
that can be used with all brands of laparoscopy cameras.
Virtual Ports, established in May 2006, recently graduated from the incubator
program of Misgav Venture Accelerator in the western Galilee. It has recorded the
impressive feat of developing two medical devices and receiving FDA clearance for
them in less than two years since its founding.
Virtual Ports is developing a complete line of devices for use in laparoscopic surgery,
based on a unique and innovative concept that has significant advantages for reducing
patient discomfort, reducing the cost of the procedure, and maximizing the surgeon’s
In advanced abdominal surgery (laparoscopy), the surgical implements are inserted
into the abdominal cavity through small incisions and controlled by the surgeon from
outside the patient’s body. Virtual Ports’ method allows some of the implements to be
anchored to the abdominal wall during the operation so that other instruments can be
inserted through the same incision. The first device developed by the company, for
which it received FDA clearance, is the EndoGrab™, a device for retracting internal
organs and anchoring them to the internal abdominal wall during laparoscopic
More than three million laparoscopic procedures are performed each year in the
United States and Europe. The field is expanding rapidly, and the number of
procedures is expected to increase by 20% annually over the next few years.
According to Dr. Szold, the founder and past president of the Israel Society for
Endoscopic Surgery “the EndoClear allows surgeons to overcome one of the most
distracting factors during the surgery”.