Sheba’s spinal cord unit, headed by Dr. Nachshon Knoler, only recently started to use a new imaging device of type O-arm for spinal cord surgeries. This new device enables imaging during the course of the surgical procedure and provides real-time information of the exact location for a variety of surgical incisions. The device produces 3-dimensional pictures which are transferred to an advanced navigation system that allows the surgeons to cut in the precise places, to insert the screws and implants perfectly, and even perform an additional scan to make sure that the implants are in place.
The new system plays an important role in surgeries with minimal invasive access and with the need for smaller surgical incisions, in reduced damage to the muscle tissue surrounding the spinal cord, less bleeding during surgery, decreased infection risk after surgery, lesser need for pain medication due to reduced damage to the tissue, and shorter hospitalization time following surgery.
Dr. Ran Harel, a senior physician of the unit, remarked that “the guidance of an advanced navigation system is essential because it allows for more precise orientation during surgery, and radiation protection for the medical team is no longer needed.
Though navigation systems during surgery have been in use for years already in the field of neurosurgery, but only during recent years they have been technologically improved, and the O-arm device enables us to perform spinal cord surgeries efficiently and safely.”
In the framework of the spinal cord unit of Sheba’s neurosurgery department, four successful surgeries were performed during the course of the last few months with the help of the O-arm imaging device in tandem with the advanced navigation system.