BELGIUM – Medtronic has announced that the Hugo robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system was used for the first time in Europe.

The robotic prostatectomy was performed by Dr. Alexandre Mottrie, head of urology at OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgium.

Mottrie doubles up as the CEO and founder of the ORSI Academy in Belgium, which provides training, R&D, and data analysis to improve minimally invasive surgery best practices.

Performing Europe’s very first procedure with the Hugo RAS system is a career highlight for me,” said Dr. Mottrie, who has more than two decades and 4,000 robotic-assisted surgery procedures under his belt.

“I am intimately aware of the barriers that have kept the benefits of surgical robotics from physicians, hospitals, and patients. Now, I believe we are entering a new era filled with greater access and flexibility.”

Alexander Mottrie, MD, Head of urology at OLV Hospital; Founder/CEO Orsi Academy.


The robotic-assisted surgery system is intended to supplement surgeons’ existing skills. The modular, adaptable system, which is kept on wheels to be portable throughout a hospital, is outfitted with wristed instruments and 3D visualization tools.

It can also record an entire procedure automatically, allowing the data to be used in future training sessions and facility analytics.

Furthermore, as procedures are completed with Hugo’s assistance around the world, they are recorded in the system’s patient registry.

The data compiled as a result will be used to assist Medtronic in obtaining regulatory approvals for Hugo around the world.

It received its CE mark in October, allowing it to be used in urologic and gynecological procedures throughout much of Europe.

Over the last year, Medtronic announced the first urologic and gynecology procedures with Hugo in Latin America and Asia-Pacific, with the first patient procedure in Chile in June 2021.

Clinical data from such procedures and cases, which are now being conducted in Europe, will be used to support regulatory submissions around the world.

Hugo has a medical device license in Canada, as well as Australian approval, in addition to the CE mark. However, it is still an investigational device that is not for sale in the United States.

In 2021, Medtronic announced the first urologic and gynecologic procedures with the Hugo system in Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

Following that, if Medtronic’s 2019 plan for the system holds true, Hugo will be expanded into soft-tissue procedures and, eventually, offer robotic-assisted guidance at a price comparable to a standard manual laparoscopy.

However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and drawn-out slowdowns in the global supply chain have already pushed that timeline back.

On an earnings call with investors last November, Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha stated that demand for the Hugo system is “higher than we can fill at this time,” but that the company hopes to ramp up production and distribution by mid-2022.

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