Worlds first augmented reality neuromodulation spinal surgery

Image source: NNUH

News • Virtual insights

World's first augmented reality neuromodulation spinal surgery

The first augmented reality (AR) spinal surgery in the world has taken place at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Surgeons at NNUH utilised the latest video technology and augmented reality (AR) googles with the assistance of a neurosurgical colleague in Wales providing extra support with a complex spinal cord stimulation procedure. The NNUH is one of the biggest neuromodulation centres in the country – offering traditional spinal cord stimulation, DRG stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation – that involves surgery to place an implantable device and electrodes in the spinal canal, which can significantly reduce and in some cases stop pain signals for patients living with severe chronic neuropathic or nerve pain.

Having that extra support if we do have an expected difficult case improves patient safety and the chances of the procedure being a success

Ann-Katrin Fritz

Spinal Consultant Nick Steele and team carried out the two and a half hour operation with the assistance of neuromodulation expert Mr Chirag Patel in Cardiff, who was on hand to give guidance through a live link and was also able to freeze and annotate images that could be viewed through the NNUH surgeon’s AR googles.

The operation took place with technical support also on hand by Rods and Cones in Belgium, which meant that NNUH was the first neuromodulation team to use the Boston Scientific augmented reality goggles worldwide. The technology provides remote support or teaching without the need for a supporting surgeon to travel a long distance to be physically present in the operating room.

Ann-Katrin Fritz, Consultant in Neuromodulation and Pain Management, said the virtual support from Mr Patel meant that NNUH could receive his support in the morning and was still able to carry out his surgical list in Cardiff in the afternoon. “When procedures are complicated, this technology allows us to have another specialist available in another part of the UK and someone very experienced in that procedure. It is the next best thing to having someone scrubbed up at the table in the theatre and there are a lot of advantages to this. Having that extra support if we do have an expected difficult case improves patient safety and the chances of the procedure being a success. It has been a great success and it was great to have the additional virtual support to make it run smoothly. The patient was fascinated and very grateful for the surgery to happen in this way and we can treat these patients at the Norfolk and Norwich and not send them to other centres in Oxford or London.”


Source: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 

08.10.2021

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Article • Neuro- and spine surgery

Perfection in the networked OR: robot, neuro-navigation and VR headsets

At their workplace, neurosurgeons often have to make compromises since most ORs were not designed with the specific needs of their discipline in mind. To address this issue the University Hospital in…

Photo

News • Relief for amputees

'Virtual hand' training reduces phantom limb pain

Phantom-limb pain is as mysterious as the name implies. The vast majority of amputees experience “phantom-limb” sensations that make them feel their missing limb is still part of their body. The…

Photo

Article • Neurosurgical operating theatre

Neurosurgery taught via Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) technology is aiding trainee surgeons to practise complex procedures in a simulated setting, rather than learning skills on real patients. VR is also helping to demystify…

Related products

Canon – Alphenix Biplane High Definition Detector

Bi-Plane

Canon – Alphenix Biplane High Definition Detector

Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.
Canon Electron Tubes & Devices – X-ray Image Intensifier

Accessories / Complementary Systems

Canon Electron Tubes & Devices – X-ray Image Intensifier

Canon Electron Tubes & Devices Co., Ltd
Canon – Vitrea Advanced Visualization

Reading

Canon – Vitrea Advanced Visualization

Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.
DK Medical – Prostar

Surgical II-C-Arms

DK Medical – Prostar

DK Medical Systems Co., Ltd
Fujifilm - FDX Visionary-C and CS

Surgical Flat Panel C-arms

Fujifilm - FDX Visionary-C and CS

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH
Fujifilm – Synapse 3D

Reading

Fujifilm – Synapse 3D

FUJIFILM Europe GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter