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Fascinating facts about Naomi L. Nakao inventor of The Nakao Snare™ in 1991.

NAOMI NAKAO
AT A GLANCE:
Naomi L. Nakao, is a practicing gastroenterologist, company founder and inventor of the Nakao Snare in 1991. A passionate inventor, she founded the Granit Medical Innovations to provide a vehicle for taking her intellectual property from idea to medical device. On November 5, 1991 she filed an application for Surgical retrieval assembly and related method, now known as The Nakao Snare. She also has medical inventions that are licensed to companies such as Ethicon, ConMed, Wilson Cook and Stryker Corporation.
THE STORY
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DID YOU KNOW?
Inventor: Naomi L. Nakao, MD, FACG
Criteria: First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: January 13th, 1948 in Jerusalem, Israel
Nationality: American
Invention: The Nakao Snare™ in 1991
Function: noun / trademark / named after inventor
Definition: A surgical instrument assembly for use in snare cauterization operations comprises a tubular sheath member, a metallic cauterization loop, and a metal wire operatively connected to the loop, the wire passing longitudinally through the sheath.
Patent: 5,201,740 (US) issued April 13, 1993
Milestones:
1961 Naomi L. Nakao moves to the United States
1989
Granit Medical Innovations was founded by Dr. Naomi Nakao, in New York City.
1991 November 5 files application for Surgical retrieval assembly and related method
1993 Patent granted April 13, 1993
2002 Approved for use and marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
2006 The Nakao Snare Line, to be distributed by ConMed Endoscopic Technologies beginning May
Nakao,
Naomi L. Nakao, Naomi L. Nakao MD, Dr. Naomi L. Nakao, Nakao Snare, Nakao Snare Line, conmed, inventor, biography, profile, history, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.
STORY:
Naomi Nakao, Associate Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, is a Board Certified Gastroenterologist practicing in New York City. Dr. Nakao is an active member in the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) & the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).  A passionate inventor, she has served on the ASGE Technology Committee, and is the current Chair of the ASGE Invention Innovation Special Interest Group (II-SIG). This role has enabled Dr. Nakao to form collaborative relationships with medical innovators in the US and worldwide. She is deeply involved in the most cutting edge research and development of medical technology with a strong predilection toward interventional gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Dr. Nakao has an avid interest in advancing women's interests in Medicine. She has been an active member of the ACG Women's Committee for the past 6 years. The Naomi Nakao Gender Based Research Award is granted yearly at the National ACG Meetings for the best research paper published about gender-related diseases and their treatment. A recipient of the honorary title of Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, Dr. Nakao has authored fourteen articles, and has 54 United States Patents and patent-pending applications to her name.

Granit Medical Innovations was founded by Dr. Naomi Nakao, a board certified gastroenterologist practicing in New York City. In 1989, Dr. Nakao and a surgical colleague Dr. Peter Wilk were treating a young woman for a postoperative leak after gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity. The patient's condition continued to deteriorate until she was too ill to be operated on. “I wish there were a way to close the leak through an endoscope. If only we had an endoscopic stapling device,” said Dr. Nakao. In 1991 Drs. Nakao and Wilk were granted the first patent ever issued for a stapling device that would pass through a flexible endoscope.

Dr. Nakao went on to search for solutions that would address shortcomings in medical devices. During a 20 year journey that resulted in 56 patents and patent pending applications, she learned a great deal about the problems that an inventor encounters. Granit Medical Innovations (GMI) was created in order to provide a vehicle for taking Dr. Nakao's intellectual property from idea to medical device. GMI has been achieving this objective through collaborative alliances with medical equipment manufacturers, biomedical engineers, FDA advisors, and distribution channels.

A company not encumbered by bureaucracy, GMI is in the business of bringing new products to the market for a relatively small cost and in a comparatively short period of time. A large portion of the Company's resources is allocated towards development of flexible endoscopic surgical devices used during transluminal surgery. These instruments are geared chiefly toward bariatric surgery for the morbidly obese patient, and other intra-abdominal operations to be performed through a natural orifice.

The Nakao Snare™ Line was invented in order to address the problem of the lost polyp syndrome. Colonic polyps, precursors to colon cancer, are removed during a colonoscopic procedure. Resected with a cautery snare, they often roll into the colon necessitating a polyp search in order to retrieve the specimen for pathologic evaluation. The rate of lost polyps is 10-15% in the best of hands, a problem that is quite concerning: the treatment for a cancerous polyp differs significantly from that of a benign one. It is therefore crucial for the patient that every polyp be retrieved. Because it is so important to examine every polyp for cancer cells, the physician must often engage in a difficult and time-consuming polyp chase. The additional time spent in search of the lost polyp adds to the procedure increases risk and patient discomfort. In the worst case the polyp is never found, and the prognosis and proper management of the patient remain uncertain.


The Nakao Snare Line, to be distributed by ConMed Endoscopic Technologies beginning May 2006, will offer three different snares designed to address the “lost polyp syndrome”. The Nakao Snare I is a double lumen snare, which houses a regular cautery snare in one lumen and a retrieval basket in another. The cautery snare is used to resect the polyp in the usual fashion. After the polyp is severed, without removing the catheter from the working channel of the endoscope a second snare with net is used to retrieve the specimen. The retrieving net is specially designed to slide up and down the snare, gently cradling the delicate specimen so that it may be delivered unharmed to the pathologist.

The Nakao Cautery Retrieval Snare cuts and retrieves the polyp in the same maneuver. This device combines two loops constructed in a coplanar configuration. The same delicate net described above is attached to the lager of the two loops, while the smaller, inner loop constitutes the cutting wire. The polyp is captured, cautery is performed and the severed polyp falls into the net. Thus, both cutting and retrieval occur simultaneously, eliminating the polyp chase altogether.

The Nakao retrieval Net is a retrieval net utilizing the delicate pouch specially tethered to the inner wall of the catheter to enable its sliding up and down the snare for proper positioning around the specimen. The Nakao Green Net is utilized in cases wherein a very large polyp is resected in several segments. The segmental resection is performed with a cutting snare, leaving behind a number of pieces which are then harvested with the retrieval net. The cutting snares may come in a thin mono-filament used for the smaller polyps, and for cold polypectomy (polypectomy without cautery), and retrieval nets come in small, medium and large sizes.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
Women Inventors, A Class Act   from The Great Idea Finder
Healthcare History   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Why Aren't There More Women Gastroenterologists?
by Caron Schwartz Ellis / Download
Digital: 4 HTML pages / The Boulder County Bus.Report (6/2004)
If you've been dreading that five syllable screening test - colonoscopy don't listen to your friends. They are going to tell you it's invasive, embarrassing and that the worst part of all is the preparation. The truth is it's easy. And once it's over you have a five- to 10-year reprieve before you need another one.


ON THE WEB:

Naomi Nakao the Inventor
Dr. Nakao has authored fourteen articles, and has 54 United States Patents and patent-pending applications to her name and is
Chair of the Invention Innovation Special Interest group of the American Society for Gastrointestinal EndoscopyWomen Inventors, A Class Act
(URL: www.granitmedical.com/team.html)

Nakao's Company
Granit Medical Innovations (GMI) was created in order to provide a vehicle for taking Dr. Nakao's intellectual property from idea to medical device.
(URL: www.granitmedical.com/company.html)

Nakao's Products
GMI has been achieving this objective through collaborative alliances with medical equipment manufacturers, biomedical engineers, FDA advisors, and distribution channels.
Medical inventions are currently licensed to companies such as Ethicon, ConMed, Wilson Cook and Stryker Corporation.
(URL: www.granitmedical.com/inventions/index.html)

Nakao Snare Line
The Nakao Snare™ Line was invented in order to address the problem of the lost polyp syndrome. Colonic polyps, precursors to colon cancer, are removed during a colonoscopic procedure.
(URL: www.granitmedical.com/inventions/snare.html)

Innovation Aids Polyp Removal
However, there is a simplified version of this procedure that decreases the chance of losing the polyp. The Nakao-snare, developed by Naomi Nakao, MD, of New York, combines the snare and the net. Article by Kelli M. Donley for EnoNurse.
(URL: www.endonurse.com/articles/231feat4.html)
US FDA Review of Nakao Snare
Approved for use and marketing March 15, 2002. Requires Adobe Reader. PDF file format.
(URL: www.fda.gov/cdrh/pdf2/k020891.pdf)

WHERE TO FIND:
CONMED Corporation
A global medical technology company that specializes in the development and sale of products and services that allow our physician customers to deliver high quality care and as a result, enhanced clinical outcomes for their patients.
The Nakao Snare™ will begin distribution in May, 2006 through their Endoscopic Technologies Division..

WORDS OF WISDOM:
"I don't just invent, I develop all my inventions into a final clinical device, and only then license it for distribution. I am therefore a well known novelty in the medical industry, and have the large companies visiting me frequently. Some have called me A POWERHOUSE." - Naomi L. Nakao, 2005

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Dr. Nakao has authored fourteen articles, and has 54 United States Patents and patent-pending applications to her name.
  • Dr. Nakao is a practicing gastroenterologist in New York City and enjoys her patients very much.
  • Dr. Nakao is married, and has one daughter Maya,
  • Dr. Nakao is featured on a video entitled Mothers of Invention, which is distributed to high schools in the US.
  • In the Gastroenterology profession, only 10% are women
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised October, 2005.
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