New Technology for Spinal Surgery Being Used Locally

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center has proudly announced that it is the first hospital in Florida to begin using a new procedure for spinal surgery that eliminates the need for repeated x-rays during operations and lessens the time patients spend under anesthesia.

 “It is like GPS for spinal surgery,’’ says Geoffrey Stewart, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with heart of Florida.  “The image-guided technology helps map out the area where the surgery will be performed, and it eliminates the need for taking X-rays throughout the procedure — which reduces the amount of radiation the patient receives.’’

The new procedure utilizes a camera that is linked to a computer screen that highlights the area. This makes it easier for the physician to install any implants or repair an injury.

The new procedure also helps to reduce the amount of time the patient is in the operating room, streamlining the surgery and allowing for patients to be treated and begin recovery quicker.

“It really does help with the flow in the operating room,’’ explains Dr. Stewart.

 “Not having a patient under anesthesia as long and not having the added time of constantly taking numerous traditional x-rays of the patients is more efficient.’’

Dr. Stewart says he first heard about the system while chatting with a group of colleagues. “I thought that if the technology were half as good as the company says it is, it would be incredible.”

Arrangements were made for the hospital to have a one-week trial usage of the system. Dr. Stewart was extremely pleased with the results of the try-out. 

A key benefit to the system is the reduction of needed x-rays during surgeries. Surgical navigation previously directed by repeated x-rays is replaced via visible light with the system, and that has many advantages. “It’s a total technological leap,” he says. “It improves not only patient safety, but also the safety of the surgical team in the operating room.”

Brian Stuart, vice-president of sales and marketing for 7D Surgical, says his company’s product is fast, efficient and radiation-free. “This is a much safer, much faster way to do surgery.”

What makes the 7D system different is that it’s technology is similar to that which is used in self-driving vehicles.

Called Machine-vision Image Guided Surgery (MvIGS), it is touted as a “groundbreaking, 7D surgical system that provides fast, cost-effective, radiation-free spinal navigation.”

Unlike conventional IGS systems that rely on time-consuming intraoperative radiation-emitting devices or laborious point matching techniques, MvIGS uses only visible light to easily register patients. The system eliminates intraoperative radiation exposure to the surgeon, staff and patient, offers superior accuracy and image quality with a preoperative CT, improves workflow efficiencies and results in 20-second patient registration — reduced from 30 minutes for traditional image guided surgery.

Its money-saving features include elimination of the need for intra-op radiology equipment and associated personnel, a significant reduction of registration time, and a platform designed for use in multiple surgical specialties.

Ann Barnhart, CEO of Heart of Florida, said she is delighted to be able to offer this new technology at the hospital.

“Patients no longer have to travel to another state to have this procedure done. They can come here and have it done and not have to worry about the logistics or hassle of going someplace else to have their spinal surgery,’’ Barnhart says. “We are excited to be able to continue bringing cutting-edge technology to our patients.’’

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center offers outpatient imaging, rehabilitation, laboratory services and an award-winning wound care center. It is associated with two urgent care centers, an occupational health program, an ambulatory surgery center and an employed physician group. The hospital is owned in part by physicians.


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