Image-guided Surgery

Image-guided surgery is a general term used for any surgical procedure where the surgeon uses tracked surgical instruments in conjunction with preoperative or intra-operative images to guide them during surgery. Patients will obtain an MRI or CT scans before the surgery. These images will then be uploaded in the computer system and fused together to manipulate 3D views in real-time during surgery.

Image-guided surgery will aid in decisions like the best spot to make an incision, the optimal path to the targeted area, and what critical structures to avoid. The use of this technology has shown to shorten OR times, decrease the size of the incision, improve outcomes, and hasten recovery times. The constant flow of information helps surgeons make minute adjustments to ensure they are treating the exact areas they need to treat. This is especially important when dealing with brain aneurysm and arterial venous malformations because blood vessels within the brain are only a few millimeters. Image guided surgery can give precision of 1-2mms. Remember, that AVM’s can be compact, containing a core of tightly packed venous loops or it may be diffuse with abnormal blood vessels dispersed among normal brain tissue. This 3D real time technology can integrate each AVM or aneurysm into the computer to assist the surgeon on the microscopic level.