Imaging tool appears to speed procedures, is radiation-free

Unity Hospital is using a radiation-free neurosurgery platform that offers real-time 3D images using machine vision and camera-based technology.

According to the Automated Imaging Association, machine vision encompasses a combination of hardware and software that gives guidance to devices to execute their functions, based on the capture and processing of images.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based facility is using the 7D Surgical System, which includes an overhead surgical light system that eliminates line-of-sight frustration for radiologists and is controlled by the surgeon using a foot pedal. The 7D system also registers spinal patients automatically with a workflow that takes less than 20 seconds, while further eliminating intraoperative radiation, which is an intensive radiation treatment that is administered during surgery.

The 7D Surgical System further includes a machine vision image guided platform that the hospital says is the first of its kind.

Using sophisticated camera technology linked to a computer in the operating theater, surgeons can guide tools to where they need to be and the platform speeds surgical workflow for spine and cranial procedures, which also reduces operative time for patients.

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Paul Maurer, MD, chief of neurosurgery at Unity Hospital, says the 7D Surgical System is like having a wingman. “This enhances the confidence, safety and efficiency of a skilled surgeon. Just like technology for a skilled pilot, you have to have the training and ability, but this tool makes the work safer than ever.”

Bob Brown, a Vietnam veteran with rheumatoid arthritis, was treated with the 7D System, which minimized potential risk that otherwise would accompany a neck procedure that he underwent.

By having a complete real-time image of Brown’s spine, surgeon Anthony Petraglia was able to easily place a 3.5-millimeter screw through a 4.5-millimeter strip of bone in Brown’s neck, stabilizing the injury.

Every case is different, but patients undergoing the neck stabilization procedure can be in the hospital from one to four days. Yet, early on, the 7D system appears to reduce the recovery time, according to Petraglia. “Bob walked from his stretcher back to his room, and when we saw him the next morning, he was up walking, moving and feeling ready to go home.

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