Brain and spinal surgery is now more advanced than ever thanks to new intraoperative CT scanning equipment. Together with image-guided surgical systems, which work like GPS navigation for the human body, intraoperative CT technology enables surgeons to get real-time, 3D images during an operation.
One example of this new technology is the Airo Mobile Intraoperative CT and Curve Image Guided Surgery system, which is used during surgery for real-time monitoring.
The Airo CT works like a traditional CT scanner that is used in a typical radiation room, however it is more advanced and completely mobile. It can be moved from one operating room to another, and has a much larger opening than a traditional CT scanner, making it easier to position around the patient during surgery.
The scanner has the ability to accommodate the entire surgical field and allows diagnostic-quality images while in surgery, which helps surgeons to visualize the area and make well-informed decisions during the procedure.
During a spinal procedure, for example, surgeons can instantly take CT images to verify that screws and rods are placed in the right location. This helps guarantee the strength of the new screws and rods, and also helps ensure the safety of the patient.
Prior to this new technology, operating rooms used traditional X-rays, exposing the patient and the surgical team to radiation. The Airo CT often uses less radiation overall by acquiring a single 3D scan in place of many 2D images. Overall, a CT scan releases more radiation. It's by minimizing the length of spine scanned that it may produce less radiation. This can vary between cases and on how many 2D pictures a surgeon needs to be taken.
The Airo CT also allows the surgeon to keep the patient in his or her surgical position. The scanner has the ability to be moved into multiple positions, accommodating each patient's specific procedure and body size. Using this technology can result in a shorter operating time because surgeons do not have to stop and take X-rays multiple times throughout the procedure and can make decisions more quickly. Using these images affords greater accuracy for surgeons and multiple benefits for the patient.
The ability to reduce radiation exposure and access 3D imaging during surgery to make more accurate and timely decisions is just another example of how advanced technology in the operating room can improve surgical procedures and benefit patients.