New Navigation System Improves Cranial and Spine Procedures
By Ann B. DeBellis
Princeton Baptist Medical Center recently became the first hospital in Alabama to acquire the new 7D Surgical System for complex cranial and spine procedures. This first machine-vision, image-guided navigation system (MvIGS) provides greater efficiency without the need for radiation exposure, intra-operative CAT scan or fluoroscopy. The system also helps reduce recovery times for patients.
The 7D Surgical System delivers high-quality, accurate procedures. It uses only visible light to complete near instantaneous cranial registrations, increases surgeon control, and improves IGS workflow efficiencies. The navigation technology is embedded in an on-board overhead surgical light which eliminates line-of-sight frustrations in the operating room. The surgeon-focused design offers complete sterile system control and improves conditions for surgeons, staff and patients.
"This latest technology fits our needs nicely. Not only does it help with pedicle screw placement and other procedures, it saves time. It is as accurate as our previous system, and imaging is easily accomplished," says neurosurgeon Cem Cezayirli, MD. "It is more accurate than the other system, and imaging is accomplished more easily without radiation which is safer for patients and for medical staff. Not only will it accomplish spinal surgeries, it is also useful for operating on brain tumors, pituitary tumors or even ventriculostomies."
Cezayirli compares the system to fixed frame imaging, a technique that uses a limited number of fiducials, or reference points, placed on a patient's skull or spine. "Instead of the 10 to 12 fiducial points with the previous system, the 7D system uses thousands of points on the patient's facial features or on the scalp or skull," he says. "The camera has several hundred lights that reflect off the surface and the computer cross references with the patient's anatomy, providing a higher degree of accuracy. It does the same thing for the lumbar spine. It reflects off the surface of the laminate - the bone surrounding the spinal cord - and it will tell you where all bony structures are located. It's much more accurate and much faster.
"It works much like a self-driving automobile. The car has everything programmed. It drives itself because it knows the location of all the roads. It's the same thing with the 7D System. It knows where all the bones are in the body. Use of the image guidance system to guide placement of the implant has been shown to reduce risk. It's like GPS - it navigates us to the proper place without having to make more images."
So far, Cezayirli likes what he knows about this new technology. The 7D system allows for a rapid, streamlined process to reduce overall guided surgery set-up time. A computer with 3D images continuously tracks surgical tools and helps the surgeon navigate through delicate anatomy during the procedure.
"It is simple to use, and it gives me immediate feedback," Cezayirli says. "Many of the systems out there now require a lengthy registration process of about 20 minutes to register all the landmarks. The 7D system uses Flash™ Registration which dramatically reduces registration workflow time from 20 minutes to about 10 seconds. Also, we use a frame to help reference everything. If you bumped the frame using the previous system, we had to re-do the registration which would take another 20 minutes. With the 7D system, I can re-register in 10 seconds."
This new machine is the latest generation and was approved last year. Cezayirli and his team have everything set up with their new 7D System and are beginning to use it in surgeries. "This technology will save time and eliminate radiation, which will be safer for the patients and the OR team. Only one X ray will be necessary to see where the screws are when the surgery is finished," he says. "As this technology becomes more popular and more surgeons see it, we will have more of these machines in this state and all over the country."