Abstract

The fixation and manipulation of fibroids during laparoscopic myomectomy is a persistent issue for gynecologic surgeons. In this paper, we present a laparoscopic grasper that, through a sheath-based deployment mechanism, opens into a larger multitoothed grasper within the patient and collapses back for removal. Due to the increased number of contact points with the tumor, the expanded grasper allows for reliable fixation, aiding in manipulation during excision. We describe the nature-inspired design of the grasper from a physical foundation, establish the design theory and practical issues, and present manufacturing and testing of a full-scale 5 mm grasper. The unit was tested on synthetic fibroid models and was able to sustain a 50% higher load before tearing than a common single-tooth tenaculum. This development not only promises to improve fibroid fixation in myomectomy but also its design could be adapted to aid in the fixation of other difficult tissues in laparoscopic surgery.

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