The R-Aide, lifting a slab of silicone
A diagram of the R-Aide
The R-Aide is designed to lift up obese patients' abdominal fat during surgery, allowing them to breathe more easily
Team members demonstrate how the R-Aide works
When an anesthetized obese patient is lying on their back on an operating table, the weight of their abdominal fat can make it difficult for them to breathe. It can also press down on and displace their organs, making certain procedures more challenging. Mehdi Razavi, director of electrophysiology clinical research at the Texas Heart Institute, had encountered such problems first-hand, with patients of his own. He decided to turn to Houston’s Rice University, to see if its students could come up with a solution. In response, a group of bioengineering seniors created something called the R-Aide, which uses vacuum-powered suction cups to lift up patients’ bellies.
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