News and Trends—June 2010

| June 16, 2010

CIGNA CHANGES POLICY—Offers Reimbursement Coverage for Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—As of May 15, 2010, CIGNA has changed its position on reimbursement for sleeve gastrectomy and will now cover the procedure. This coverage will be the same as the other bariatric surgery procedures covered by CIGNA. Per the official CIGNA coverage policy, when the specific medical necessity criteria for bariatric surgery have been met, CIGNA covers any of the following open or laparoscopic bariatric surgery procedures:
•    Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
•    Adjustable silicone gastric banding (e.g., LAP-BAND®, REALIZE™)
•    Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) >50kg/m2
•    Sleeve gastrectomy (SG)
•    Vertical banded gastroplasty.
For more information on CIGNA and medical coverage policies, please visit

ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY INTRODUCES HARMONIC FOCUS® LONG CURVED SHEARS FOR DEEP SURGICAL ACCESS—New HARMONIC® Device Developed in Response to Surgeon Demand for Precision and Versatility in Open Procedures
CINCINNATI, Ohio—Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES) introduced a new addition to its Harmonic line of surgical devices, the Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears, which is specifically designed for use in open procedures that require deep access. The Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears enable surgeons to dissect, cut, coagulate, and grasp using precise ultrasonic energy that minimizes thermal damage to patients while providing surgical efficiency. Surgical oncologists, liver surgeons, general surgeons, and colorectal surgeons often need deep access in upper gastrointestinal and colorectal procedures. The Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears provide surgeons an alternative to the traditional “clamp, cut, and tie” technique using advanced energy.

Like other products in the Harmonic line, the Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears give surgeons the versatility to perform several important functions without the need to exchange instruments. Data have shown that the use of Harmonic technology in pancreatectomy saved approximately 30 minutes compared to procedures performed using the “clamp, cut, and tie” technique. The Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears are designed with a traditional scissors grip to improve surgeon comfort and familiarity.

Harmonic surgical devices are used in more than 10 million surgical procedures worldwide to seal and divide vessels as well as lymphatics. The EES energy portfolio also includes the Enseal® advanced bipolar devices that give surgeons control in tissue sealing larger vessels while minimizing tissue trauma. Using temperature-controlled technology not available in any other bipolar device, Enseal devices offer minimal thermal spread for simultaneously sealing and transecting large vessels up to and including 7mm and tissue bundles.
For more information, visit

Minneapolis, Minnesota—Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES) announced the launch of two new surgical staplers designed to optimize efficiencies and compression during open surgery. The EES Linear Cutter 55/75, engineered with novel staple technology and selectable staple heights in one cartridge, provides superior hemostasisi for patients and improved efficiencies to surgeons, nurses, and facility administrations. The EES Intraluminal Stapler (ILS), designed with a new tissue compression scale, provides surgeons improved flexibility and control so that they can address the individual needs of each patient. The products, which are the latest additions to the company’s portfolio of solutions for colorectal surgery, will be featured at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), May 15–19, 2010, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The EES Linear Cutter 55/75 (available in 55mm and 75mm lengths) employs an innovative and novel 3-D staple technology, which produces angled, parallel staple legs that overlap, unlike traditional surgical staples. In addition, the EES Linear Cutter 55/75 staples are deployed in a row of six instead of four. These innovations produce a unique staple line, delivering optimal tissue compression and superior hemostasis. The new EES Linear Cutter is also enhanced with the following:
•    A single cartridge that contains three different staple heights, enabling surgeons to select staple height during surgery, based on the individual tissue thickness of the patient, without switching cartridges
•    An intermediate locking mechanism, which allows for easier, one-handed tissue manipulation, allowing surgeons to gently interact with tissue.
The EES ILS enables surgeons to select the appropriate staple height between 1.0 and 2.5mm for their patients. This allows them to control the amount of compression applied to tissue depending on the clinical situation, which can help the surgeon reliably deliver a staple line with proper staple formation.
For more information, please visit,

MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey—Robard Corporation formally announced the launch of Healthy Family’s Create Healthy Futures, a new approach to dieting that not only improves the quality of life for the individual dieter, but also increases the health benefits for the entire family. In addition, Robard has also launched an expanded online product catalog to help families, healthcare professionals, and dieters get comprehensive information on the company’s high-quality nutrition products.

Focusing on promoting small, gradual changes in lifestyle to yield big results, the goal is to teach family members of dieters to simply substitute less nutritious options with a nutritious treat.

The initiative serves a threefold purpose: 1) The dieter’s family becomes a support system rather than a barrier to success. The dieter loses more weight and stays on the program longer; 2) The program provides healthy alternatives for children, spouses, and elderly parents of current dieters, and delivers the advantages of satiety and added energy for each family member; 3) With minimal extra work, healthcare professionals in the weight loss field will see better dieter retention, increased product sales, and practice revenues.

Robard has also greatly expanded its online product catalog so dieters, healthcare professionals, and families can find precisely what nutritional products and information they need, quickly. New features include the following:
•    An intuitive search feature that recommends products and keywords as you type
•    The ability to filter items by dietary restrictions—aspartame, gluten, kosher, and wheat—and search by product features—meal replacements, fiber, flavors, and more
•    A suggestive list of products you may be interested in based upon your search result.
Robard Corporation is a subsidiary of Food Sciences Corporation. To access Robard’s expanded online catalog, visit For more information on Robard, please visit


Category: News and Trends, Past Articles

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