New technology is making it easier for doctors to perform spine surgery.
United Regional in Wichita Falls has become the 50
hospital in the United States to have it. It is called Mazor Robotics Renaissance Surgical Guidance. The gadget does exactly what the name implies by guiding doctors to a more accurate and sometimes, less invasive surgery.
The tiny gadget allows doctors to take on more complicated cases, so patients will no longer have to go to the Metroplex to get the help they need.
While some worry that the technology could fail or have complications, the device literally has everyone's back.
“There's fail safes on the computer that won't let us go forward until it know it can deliver our drills and our screws inside of its tolerance,” Dr. John Reeves, Neurological Surgeon at United Regional said.
Although statistics show that spine surgeries are generally quite successful, the surgical guidance system takes the procedure to the next level. It has a consistent accuracy of 1.5mm, which is superior to what surgeons can do on their own.
Not only is the small device more accurate, it also cuts down on time in the operating room in half. So, there is less blood loss, a chance for infection , and patients will have less pain after the procedure is done.
Of course, before anyone goes under the knife, doctors have to plan out the procedure. The new technology helps doctor do that. Surgeons use the advanced 3D planning software before surgery to create a unique surgical blueprint, which is ideal because every patient is different. During the procedure, the neurosurgeon does the actual work, but the tools are guided, according to the blueprint.
Another benefit, is normally doctors would have to take numerous x-rays during the procedure in the operating room. Dr. Reeves said they could do as many as 40, depending on the surgery. With the new technology they will only need to have two x-rays. This cuts down on radiation for the patient and anyone in the operating room.
The new technology has already been used at United Regional. They did the first procedure on Monday and it was a success. Doctors said they plan to start with simpler spinal surgeries to get used to the gadget. Then they will work their way to doing more complicated cases.