A Lower Anterior Resection (LAR) is a common surgery for colon cancer, but can become difficult and risky depending on the anatomy of the individual. Tight special constraints lead to difficult visibility and maneuverability.

Working with surgeons throughout, I researched, designed, prototyped, tested and brought to manufacture an innovative curved stapler that makes surgery easier and safer and sets a new bar for what manual powered surgical stapler can do.

I designed the first curved linear stapler, Covidien’s Radial Reload,which provides
better access, visibility and staple line security than any other stapler on the market.



Imagine trying to operate in the bottom of a dark coffee cup.

Tight spacial constraints, difficult visibility, thick tissue and high risk for infection if complications arise make deep-pelvic LAR surgery always difficult for surgeons to perform.

Surgery Details

A Lower Anterior Resection (LAR) is a common surgery for colon cancer.  The body cavity is accessed, a linear surgical stapler is used to remove the tumor and the colon is re-connected with a circular stapler. Surgical staplers are the commonplace in the surgical suite because they allow for faster, more accurate and more uniform closures than traditional hand-suturing.

the process

We conducted interviews around the world to gain insights into the needs for the device as well as understand how geography and social conditions affect surgical practice.  With the user needs in hand, we designed and manufactured multiple prototypes before arriving at the technically-daunting task of making a curved concept.  Multiple iterations of the radial reload were created and tested in-vovo (cadaver and animal models) and in-vitro (benchtop) to prove that the design functioned as intended, even under heavy loads.

my contributions

The principal designer and I were responsible for all of the design activities as well as research, ideation, prototyping, testing, field-work and transfer to manufacturing.

I designed and tested parts, spec-ed out components, created detailed GD&T drawings, conducted tolerance analysis, and worked with suppliers to manufacture the device.

Labeled Covidien Radial Reload

Curved Staplers

Radial reload

LAR Powered

creating the new standard for linear staplers


Surgeons found they had much better visualization with the Radial Reload than with the competition.


Surgeons found the Radial Reload allowed lower access in the pelvis compared to the competition in both the coronal and sagittal planes.


The Radial Reload operates across a broader range of tissue thickness than the competition.


Superior staple line in variable tissue thickness than the competition.