Medtronic’s new robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system conducted its first clinical procedure in Europe at the Aalast, Belgium-based OLV Hospital Aalst.

The robotic prostatectomy using Medtronic’s Hugo robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system was performed by Alexandre Mottrie, MD, head of urology at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Ziekenhuis (OLV) Hospital in Aalst, Belgium, and chief executive officer and founder of the Belgium-based ORSI Academy.

“Performing Europe’s very first procedure with the Hugo RAS system is a career highlight for me,” says Mottrie. “With more than two decades and 4,000 robotic-assisted surgery procedures under my belt, I am intimately aware of the barriers that have kept the benefits of surgical robotics from physicians, hospitals, and patients. Now, I believe we are entering a new era filled with greater access and flexibility.”

A form of minimally invasive surgery, robotic-assisted surgery offers fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, faster return to normal activities, and smaller scars than open surgery.1–3

“This is an exciting and important moment for healthcare in Europe and we’re proud to share it with Mottrie and the team at OLV,” says Megan Rosengarten, president of the Surgical Robotics business, which is part of the Medical Surgical Portfolio at Medtronic. “Dr. Mottrie has left a meaningful mark on our program over the many years we’ve worked together, and now, through our partnership with OLV, Medtronic’s journey to bring the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery to more patients in Europe is well underway.”

The Hugo RAS system is a modular, multi-quadrant platform designed for a broad range of soft-tissue procedures. It combines wristed instruments, 3D visualization, and Touch Surgery Enterprise, a cloud-based surgical video capture and management solution, with dedicated support teams specializing in robotics program optimization, service, and training.

In 2021, Medtronic announced the first urologic and gynecologic procedures with the Hugo system in Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Those procedures and cases in Europe will become part of the Hugo RAS system patient registry, which is collecting clinical data to support regulatory submissions around the world.

The Hugo RAS system is commercially available in certain geographies. Regulatory requirements of individual countries and regions will determine approval, clearance, or market availability.

In the EU, the Hugo RAS system is CE marked. In Canada, the Hugo RAS system has a medical device license. The Hugo RAS system is approved in Australia. In the U.S., the Hugo RAS system is an investigational device not for sale. Touch Surgery Enterprise is not intended to direct surgery, or aid in diagnosis or treatment of a disease or condition.

Featured image: The Hugo system is a modular, multi-quadrant platform for soft-tissue robotic-assisted surgery. Photo: Medtronic


1. Fitch K, Engel T, Bochner A. Cost differences between open and minimally invasive surgery. Managed Care. 2015;24(9):40–48.

2. Tiwari MM, Reynoso JF, High R, Tsang AW, Oleynikov D. Safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness of common laparoscopic procedures. Surg Endosc. 2011;25(4):1127-1135.

3. Roumm AR, Pizzi L, Goldfarb NI, Cohn H. Minimally invasive: minimally reimbursed? An examination of six laparoscopic surgical procedures. Surg Innov. 2005;12(3):261–287.