Vall d'Hebron develops a system to facilitate bladder washing after surgery

A clinical trial with the prototype of the device shows that the use of this technology improves patient monitoring by nurses and reduces post-surgical complications.


A team from Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) has developed an automated system to perform bladder washings in patients who have undergone certain urological surgeries. This technological advance offers an alternative to the manual procedure currently used, improving patient control and reducing post-surgical complications.

Continuous bladder lavage is the usual procedure after surgery in patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy or bladder tumor. In order to eliminate clots, clean possible surgical debris and ensure the permeability of the catheter, saline is continuously passed through a bladder catheter into the patient's bladder for 48-72 hours. Currently, it is a technique that is performed manually, so there may be incidences that contribute to the appearance of complications. This is why it requires exhaustive monitoring by the nurses during the days that it is performed.

With the aim of improving this practice, Dr. Montserrat Llinàs, Dr. David Lorente, Dr. Joan Morote and Dr. Mª Jesús Díez, all of them researchers at VHIR, have created a device that automates this procedure. The new technology, known as VESICLEAN, has been developed in collaboration with the company Vecmedical.

The first prototype developed has been tested in a clinical trial with 20 patients from the Urology Department of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, the first with a system of these characteristics performed worldwide. The study has shown that VESICLEAN offers a more efficient alternative to the current manual procedure. "It is estimated that the use of this device could avoid 80% of the complications that the manual technique currently presents and improve the control and supervision of the procedure by nurses", says Dr. Montserrat Llinàs, researcher of the Multidisciplinary Nursing Research Group at VHIR.

In the next phases, we plan to optimize the prototype designed, conduct a clinical trial with a larger number of patients and, at the same time, define the most appropriate technology transfer strategy to bring this technology to the market.

Urological surgeries: an increasingly frequent procedure

The increase in life expectancy in recent years has led to an increase in chronic pathologies. Among them, benign prostatic hypertrophy stands out, present in one out of every three men over 70 years of age, which requires removal or resection of the gland. This surgery and the removal of bladder tumors are the operations that most frequently require subsequent continuous bladder lavage.

The high frequency of patients requiring urological surgeries makes it necessary to continue improving procedures in the field of urology to make clinical practice more efficient and improve the quality of life of those affected.

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