BackTable / Innovation / Podcast / Episode #64
Redefining Surgery: Virtuoso’s Robotic Precision
with Dr. Duke Herrell
In this episode, host Dr. Jose Silva speaks with Dr. Duke Herrell, CEO and CMO of Virtuoso Surgical, a robotic surgery tool known for its exceptional dexterity and precision.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, November 14). Ep. 64 – Redefining Surgery: Virtuoso’s Robotic Precision [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Duke Herrell
Dr. Duke Herrell is a professor of urology and biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University and the CEO of Virtuoso Surgical.
Dr. Jose Silva
Dr. Jose Silva is a board certified urologist practicing in Central Florida.
Dr. Duke Herrell is a minimally invasive urologic surgeon and professor at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Herrell came to Vanderbilt for his surgical fellowship, where he met Bob Webster, a mechanical engineer who had developed concentric tube robots made out of an elastic metal. Together, they worked to form the metal into curves that could create a tentacle-like motion for clinical applications. Over the next 15 years, Dr. Herrell and three co-founders started their company, Virtuoso Surgical, and received grant funding to move forward with their startup.
The surgical device features two 1-millimeter dextrous tools inserted through a rigid scope that is capable of carrying a versatile array of instruments. The device is currently intended for the urologic procedures including removal and enucleation of prostate tissue, bladder lesion removal and sampling, and transurethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT). Notably, the device addresses a critical issue in tumor staging by improving the accuracy of margin determination, which is a game-changer for the 50% of TURBT procedures that yield specimens lacking muscle or clear margin information. Beyond urology, the device has the potential to improve other surgical procedures that utilize a rigid scope in a constrained environment including pulmonology, neurosurgery, and ENT interventions.
Dr. Herrell and his team are also developing EndoTheia, a micromachine instrument that functions as a steerable catheter, specifically designed for flexible ureteroscopy. This device is currently in the verification and validation phase.
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