Surgical navigators: which anatomical districts are involved?
The project operates in the field of surgical navigation. Today, in some sectors, complex surgeries can already use surgical navigation, that is a guide that allows you to bring a project created from images of the patient to the operating room. However, it is necessary to improve the use of these navigators by the surgeon, who in some types of interventions – especially those in the open protocol, therefore not those performed in laparoscopic or robotic surgery protocols – finds himself unable to focus 100% on the surgical field and having to look away to observe the navigator’s monitor.
Vostars wants to fill this gap, putting navigation at a glance, thus allowing the surgeon to implement a maximum level of focus. The project elaborated starting from the images is visually overlapped on the patient, the surgeon therefore finds himself operating immersed in the surgical project, with full technological ergonomics: ergonomics makes it possible totake the best from the technology and not limit its use to cases particularly complex, as it happens today. When we talk about surgical navigation in which we want to use the patient’s map reconstructed from preoperative images, it is obviously fundamental to realign the map with the patient himself. So today the biggest challenge is the realignment phase that must be as precise as possible. On soft tissues – therefore for example on mobile organs such as liver, lungs, stomach – which can potentially move from the moment the CT is performed to the beginning of the operation, or which simply undergo a passive micro-shift due to breathing or to the heartbeat, it is much more complex to guarantee accurate millimetric accuracies. A lot is being studied on this subject, but it is a challenge that is still open.
At the moment the Vostars team has decided to reach a fast clinical benefit, not far in time, so the coise is to focus on those anatomical districts that are firmer, as the head-neck. Here, the deformations and movements are very limited and therefore there is a greater guarantee of adherence between the pre-operative images and the project then performed in the operating room. The project team is in fact carrying out tests on maxillofacial, neurosurgery, otorhinolaryngology. The project team is also considering the orthopedic field, also because one of the project partners works a lot in orthopedic surgical navigation.
The image used for this article is a “pictorial concept by Photonics21″