OZOP Surgical [OTCQB:OZSC]: The Future of Spine Surgery
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Michael Chermak, CEO
The use of endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery (MIS)to achieve spinal fusion has been hindered in making greater inroads in spine surgery in those cases where a spinal implant is needed. For treatment of diseases such as lumbar degenerative disc disease where an implant is often inserted, an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) procedure or a posterior approach has been preferred over MIS techniques. In an ALIF procedure, an incision—generally more than 12 inches—is made in the abdominal area to remove disc or padding from in between two adjacent lumbar vertebrae. The internal organs, vena cava, and aorta are then gently moved aside by an approach surgeon which can be risky for the patient. Following this, a spine surgeon places an implant into the disc space. The organs are then put back into place, and the incision is closed. This procedure takes more than three hours and requires hospitalization for 3-5 days with a further 3-5 months needed for full patient recovery. OZOP Surgical aims to re-imagine how ALIF is performed through its proprietary technology called balloon lumbar interbody fusion, or BLIFTM.
Seen as the next step in minimally invasive spine surgery, OZOP’s technology would combine an endoscope with an implant that can be placed inside the human body using a small incision and a tube to deliver the balloon which would then expand in the interbody space. Through the incision, the endoscope enters and prepares the interbody space. Then the balloon is placed which expands and takes the shape of the final implant. A settable polymer is injected in a flowable form into the balloon. The polymer then gradually hardens in place. “With our technology, the future of spine fusion surgeries would be through a puncture and then inserting an expandable interbody device,” says Michael Chermak, CEO at OZOP.
The benefits of this technology include avoiding damage to critical anatomy and the necessity for lengthy hospitalization while also reducing recovery time and surgical costs. Tom McLeer, COO at OZOP, stresses that surgeons who have already been trained in endoscopic surgeries in the spine and those who have done procedures such as kyphoplasty are familiar with this type of procedure.
OZOP is also developing a surgical 3D endoscope that would improve the visualization of the surgical field during endoscopic procedures. The technology produces 3D images of the field at 4k video quality which the surgeons see in real time. The video has better depth perception and shows anatomic features in great detail to improve overall surgical results. Moreover, OZOP is also coming up with their proprietary molecular endoscope technology which uses multiple light sources and captures light waves outside the visible spectrum. These images are then filtered in real-time to enhance the image seen by the surgeon to help them identify vascular structures that are hard to differentiate from the muscular anatomy in the surgical field.
In addition to these upcoming technological products, OZOP also manufactures many traditional spine surgery products that cover more than 80 percent of all spine fusion procedures performed. These products come along with a complementary line of instrumentation that is manufactured to meet industry standards.
One of the critical elements behind OZOP’s future-native thinking has been a team with decades of experience working with healthcare-related ventures. Apart from the core team, they also work with experienced contract engineers and regulatory experts in addition to surgeons with a history of developing, training, and commercializing numerous spine products.
With these innovative products in the pipeline, Chermak stresses that OZOP’s focus is on the delivery of all interbody devices through an endoscope. “After we develop our first endoscopic implant, we look forward to using the technology to develop other implants within the spine space,” concludes McLeer.
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