What are our aims?
At GIFT-Surg we hope to advance the possibilities of minimally invasive surgery to make it a safe and effective treatment option for fetal surgery. We aim to focus on the following areas:
- Creating a small, flexible instrument to offer the surgeon better scope of view and reduce the port of entry to one location of less than 5mm. This will reduce the risk to mother and child.
- Reduce the risk of tremor and scale down the surgeons movements to compensate for the small, complex environment during the operation.
- Develop computer algorithms based on MRI and US scans which provide the surgeon with pre-operative information, such as organ location and optimum entry points for surgery.
- Provide visual equipment which works in real-time during surgery and provides additional ‘unseen’ data, such as an accurate view of blood vessels, to give greater accuracy to procedures.
- Develop computer software which compensates for poor visibility due to amniotic fluid
- Provide greater scope of view to the surgeon through the flexible device
By developing technology to suit the clinical challenges, we can give surgeons the ability to work in a fragile, complex and real-time environment. We also hope to broaden the number of clinics offering fetal surgery, making it a safe and accessible option to clinics and surgeons around the world. This will reduce the risks of pre-term labour and the number of paediatric admissions after birth for improved outcomes all round. In addition, as the technology develops it is hoped that range of possible interventions can be extended, enabling more cases to benefit from the advances in this field.