April 21, 2021 – Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Stamford Health have announced the introduction of their new augmented reality (AR) navigation technology for spine surgery. Spine surgeons working for HSS at Stamford Health will be equipped with “x-ray vision”, which will give them the capability to see through tissue surrounding a patient’s spine to provide more precise and faster surgeries.
The system is now available at Stamford Health’s Bennett Medical Center campus and Harvinder Sandhu, MD, MBA, co-chief of HSS Spine, will lead orthopedic surgeons using the new system. . Sandhu performed The first surgery using the technology was performed by Dr. Sandhu at HSS Stamford Health on January 28.
The AR technology allows HSS-Stamford Health collaborative surgeons to visualize the anatomy of a patient’s spine in 3D during surgery and track progress in real time via a transparent display headset fitted with AR eyeglasses. The headset enables surgeons to determine the position of surgical tools in real time by superimposing a patient’s CT scan or x-ray images over the surgical site in order to guide surgeons during procedures.
The use of augmented reality technology in this setting also helps to remove the need for surgeons to shift their focus back and forth to a remote screen, and instead enables them to look at a patient and review data simultaneously, since the headset projects 3D navigation data into the surgeon’s field of view.
“The spine system’s augmented reality platform enables ultraprecise alignment and positioning of spinal implants through enhanced visualization capabilities,” explained Dr. Sandhu. “The spinal implants can be placed with much less invasive surgery, as we don’t have to retract or move muscles and tissue to see a patient’s full spine.”
Dr. Sandhu noted that smaller incisions mean faster recovery times and improved outcomes for patients. He also added that the system gives surgeons the ability to course correct or alter their approach if needed during procedures.
According to HSS, Stamford Health is currently the only hospital in the tristate area offering an AR-based system for spine surgery. “We expect that as more people in the greater New York metropolitan area become aware of HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health and our spine system technology, we’ll become their first choice for spine care,” stated Dr. Sandhu.
Image credit: HSS