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Medtronic gets FDA clearance for brain-surgery imaging system

Device giant Medtronic Inc. has received U.S. regulatory clearance to sell a next-generation version of an imaging system used by brain surgeons. The company’s Polestar N30 Surgical MRI system is designed to help surgeons navigate when parts of the brain shift during operations, according to a statement from Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). Use of the PoleStar […]

Device giant Medtronic Inc. has received U.S. regulatory clearance to sell a next-generation version of an imaging system used by brain surgeons.

The company’s Polestar N30 Surgical MRI system is designed to help surgeons navigate when parts of the brain shift during operations, according to a statement from Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). Use of the PoleStar system may reduce the need for follow-up surgeries and the length of stay at the hospital for the patient, Medtronic said.

More than 50 units of the previous version of the Polestar system have been installed in operating rooms worldwide since 2001. The new version has a smaller scanner that’s easier to fit in operating rooms, Medtronic said.

“With its unique compact design, the PoleStar Surgical MRI system enables neurosurgeons to benefit from intra-operative MR imaging without the compromises inherent in other systems, such as extensive renovation of the operating room or restrictions upon the surgeons’ choice of instruments,” said Jim Cloar, general manager of Medtronic’s navigation division, which is included in its surgical technologies business unit.

In Medtronic’s most recent quarterly earnings statement, released in February, the company noted “strong U.S. sales” of its navigation equipment. Revenue in its surgical technologies business grew 15 percent to $239 million for the quarter.