Surgical Navigation Systems
Centers that are affiliated with the ENT Services all have comprehensive surgical navigation systems in place for 3 dimensional precision during sinus surgery.
Image Guided Sinus Surgery
The sinuses are physically close to the brain, the eye, and major arteries, always areas of concern when a fiber optic tube is inserted into the sinus region. The growing use of a new technology, image guided endoscopic surgery, is alleviating that concern. This type of surgery may be recommended for severe forms of chronic sinusitis, in cases when previous sinus surgery has altered anatomical landmarks, or where a patient’s sinus anatomy is very unusual, making typical surgery difficult.
Image guidance is a near-three-dimensional mapping system that combines computed tomography (CT) scans and real-time information about the exact position of surgical instruments using infrared signals. In this way, surgeons can navigate their surgical instruments through complex sinus passages and provide surgical relief more precisely. Image guidance uses some of the same stealth principles used by the United States armed forces to guide bombs to their target.
About the InstaTrak Surgical Navigation System
The GE InstaTrak Surgical Navigation System is an advanced technology used during Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Cranial and Spine procedures. Surgeons use the system to clearly visualize the patient's anatomy and the exact position of their surgical instruments within the anatomy.
GE's InstaTrak system is made up of a high-powered computer system, specialized software, and patented electromagnetic tracking technology. Electromagnetic tracking can be compared to a global positioning system (GPS) in a car, which allows the driver to see his or her exact location on a virtual roadmap.
In surgical navigation, medical images created by CT, MRI, or Fluoroscopic imaging systems are used to build an anatomical "roadmap". As the surgeon's instruments travel within the patient's body during a procedure, the GE InstaTrak system tracks their exact position, which is displayed on a high-definition monitor in the surgical suite or operating room. With the ability to track surgical instrumentation, surgeons can more safely perform delicate procedures without damaging critical surrounding structures such as arteries and nerves.
GE's advancements in surgical navigation have many benefits for both the surgeon and patient, but none more important than allowing surgeons to safely treat many conditions that years ago would have been considered impossible.