18:58 PM

Cutting-edge ‘X-ray vision’ tech makes spine surgery easier and quicker

Fairfield County Business Journal discusses the computerized augmented reality (AR) navigation technology being used by spine surgeons at HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health. A headset fitted with AR eyeglasses enables surgeons to determine the position of surgical tools in real time by superimposing the patient’s CT scan or x-ray images over the surgical site, and projects 3D navigation data onto the surgeon’s retina.

According to Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD, MBA, co-chief of HSS Spine, the technology saves time and makes the surgeon’s job easier. “It makes surgery very precise,” said Dr. Sandhu. “The technology allows us to see through the tissue. It’s a little like a GPS system — it tells us where we are and gives us a roadmap of where we need to go.”

Dr. Sandhu performed the first such surgery at Stamford Health’s Bennett Medical Center earlier this year. He said that while computer technology has long been used in surgery, “Up until now it involved looking back and forth from a computer screen with a two-dimensional view and the patient. Now we can concentrate on the patient and the 3D image rather than having to look at a screen.” Dr. Sandhu saw a demonstration of AR navigation technology several years ago, when prototypes included wearing a helmet. Today’s version is less cumbersome, he said, noting that Stamford is the first hospital in the Northeast to adopt the technology.

HSS patient Brynn Layfield was one of Dr. Sandhu’s first patients to receive the AR-assisted surgery, having undergone a more traditional procedure several years ago to relieve sciatic pressure. “I could stand and walk the day after the surgery,” she said. “It was mind-boggling.”

Read the full article at Westfaironline.com.

Additional coverage: News 12 Connecticut during the 5pm news hour on May 9, 2021, and Ryortho.com.