Image-Guided Surgery Systems

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Over the last 10 to 20 years, image-guided surgery systems or computer guided surgery, have become the standard of care in the management of various illnesses and disorders. Examples include cranial, otorhinolaryngological, spinal, orthopaedic, neurological, and cardiovascular specialities.

Innovations in these technologies over the years have also allowed manufacturers to develop less invasive and increasingly precise tools and instruments, which meet diagnostic capabilities and industry standards.

What Are Image-Guided Surgery Systems?

Image-guided surgery systems or image-guided surgery (IGS) use the real-time correlation of an operative field to a preoperative image that shows the exact location of a surgical instrument and the surrounding structures. In other words, surgeons can follow the surgery on a computer monitor in real time.

Image-Guided Surgery

Image-guided surgery, or navigation, as it is sometimes called, is a perfect example of how technological innovation has been applied to medicine. As a result, surgery has become safer and less invasive. For example, many surgeons report that they are now able to make smaller incisions, leader to safer procedures and less healing time.

The system allows surgeons to answer various questions. 

“What is my anatomical target?”

“How do I reach this target safely?”

“Where should I position my instrument?”

Apart from anatomical orientation, image guides system tools can be used for measurement and additional information as well.

Benefits of Image-Guided Surgery Systems

Image-guided surgery benefits the medical field in a variety of ways. As discussed, it allows for safer and less invasive procedures.

However, surgeons also experience increased confidence. Before, they only relied on preoperative planning. However, with organs, such as the brain, this is difficult, as brains are susceptible to a phenomenon called “brainshift.” This is CFS leakage, movement, or even collapse of certain parts of the brain, which cannot be planned for. The ability to see changes in real-time and navigate them accordingly has made neurosurgeons much more confident in their skills.

In addition, the ability to visualize brain tumours has allowed surgeons to better differentiate the mass from healthy tissues.

In orthopaedic surgery, navigation has made knee and hip replacements more accurate and more reproducible. This also includes improved implant placement.

In ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgery, image-guided surgery improves patient safety in paranasal sinus and frontal skull base surgeries.

Overall, improved patient outcomes have been reported. For example, when dealing with tumours, preservation of function has been reported.

In addition, there is less interruption during surgery.

Hybrid Operating Room

Hybrid operating rooms are frequently used during image-guided surgery. A hybrid operating room can be defined as advanced procedural spaces that are a combination of a traditional operating room and an image-guided suite. This allows surgeons to perform increasing complex surgical procedures.

Along with traditional operating room fixtures, such as surgical equipment, hybrid operating rooms also contain advanced image-guided surgery systems. This allows for the combination of image-guided surgeries along with open procedures as well.

This is especially beneficial in case of complications. For example, if a routine and minimally invasive heart surgery suddenly become complicated, it is quite easy for surgeons to smoothly transition to an open procedure. This is crucial in patients with complex diseases.

Patients often suffer less stress during hybrid surgeries and shorter recoveries. Hybrid operating rooms are also more efficient and cost-effective.

Image-Guided Surgery Tools

Examples of image-guided surgery tools include balloon sinus dilators that allow surgeons to safely avoid critical areas and optimize balloon placement during balloon sinus surgery.

Hand-held laser pointers allow surgeons to quickly scan the surface of a patient’s body.

Headbands equipped with infrared markers are attached to a main unit, in which beams are reflected back to the markers.

Automated tracking blades, with built-in surgical navigation technology, are perfect for surgical navigation.

Other examples include spinal navigation and cranial navigation, which eliminate intra-operative radiation exposure, improve workflow efficiencies, and are cost-effective. In cranial navigation specifically, systems allow surgeons to perform quickly and cost-effectively, with accurate image guidance. New innovative technology is embedded in an onboard surgical light. This eliminates irritating obstacles to the surgeon’s line of sight. 

Industry Challenges

Image-guided surgery systems manufacturers strive to reduce system downtime, including correcting potential failures before they begin and reducing security threats to software. These threats include those to software and firmware. In addition, manufacturers also strive to keep costs low, by avoiding costly verification and validation. Users are often given a password to input into the clinical cloud’s encryption protects patient data. They work closely with customers themselves to reduce the complexity of the products. In addition, they must work with the surgeons themselves, as they are the ones using the technology and most knowledgeable about its day-to-day operations.

Image guided surgery systems are the new standard for medical care and recent innovations have increasingly made them safer, more affordable, and more reliable than ever.

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  1. […] Image-Guided Surgery Systems. Image-Guided Surgery Systems. How Image Guided Surgery Systems Are Making Procedures Safer and Faster. Technological developments have driven so much change in all aspects of daily lives, particularly in the last few decades. A prominent area of change is within healthcare, where new computerized innovations, such as image guided surgery systems, sit alongside clinical research breakthroughs to literally make the difference between life and death. Image guided surgery systems have become so advanced that they are making inoperable procedures a reality and saving lives in the process. The expanded role of image guided surgery systems has been on the cards for a long time, with researchers forecasting it as far back as 2000. […]

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