At Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, a new type of GPS technology is being used by doctors to navigate in the operating room. Recently a surgeon used the GPS enabled operating equipment to remove scar tissue from the spine of a woman who was in so much chronic back pain, she couldn’t walk.
During surgery, a computer-assisted navigation GPS system displays the position of the instruments inside the body onto a monitor, similar to the GPS system in your car. As the surgeon moves the instrument within the patient, a camera calculates its position and transfers that data to a computer in the operating room. Computer-assisted surgery provides visual confirmation and verification for the surgeon, and enables him or her to perform a more precise implantation.
The new procedure can help people with severe back problems walk again. It’s amazing to see how GPS system technology is being used to improve the back surgery process and the results.
Due to its ability to increase accuracy during a surgical procedure, image-guided surgery systems have the potential to lead to excellent outcomes. Many leading orthopedic surgeons believe that computer-assisted navigation systems will replace fluoroscopy and other traditional surgeries within five years.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques such as this have dramatically improved the way surgeons operate today. While some techniques may be new and evolving, many others are now well established as safe and highly effective surgical options. Computer-assisted technology (such as image guidance, computer navigation and nerve monitoring) is just one example of how technological advancements have led the progress in medicine.
Here is a great video: How GPS is Guiding Spine Surgery