Modern Neurosurgery with a New 3D Imaging
Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned about the prevention, diagnosis, surgical treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders, which affect any portion of the nervous system. This might include the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and vessels near nerves. It is considered one of the most complex and sophisticated medical specialties. Neurosurgeons should usually study from 12 to 16 years to have the right to practice their specialty. Heidelberg University Hospital is known as one of the best medical centers for neurosurgery in Europe. The recent technologies along with doctors’ professionalism and high standard of care provide the best quality.
The Department of Neurosurgery converts to a digital surgical management system. Data networking within the operating room enables further improvements in brain surgery.
Neurosurgeons rely on a variety of imaging and measurement data. This helps them to keep brain incisions precise, tumor removal as complete as possible, and nerve connections maximally intact. To consolidate this data and make it more accessible to the surgeons, the Department of Neurosurgery at Heidelberg University Hospital has converted to a new digital surgical management system (called BUZZ) combined with a 3D-HD system (called TRENION). With BUZZ, data from magnetic resonance (MR) and computed tomography imaging (CT) and various intraoperative measurements, e.g. cranial nerve electrophysiology, can be downloaded in any desired combination. So-called "picture in picture" – all complex images are depicted together on a large-screen monitor in the operating room. The TRENION system presents a virtual 3D surgery planning model and the three-dimensional transmission from the surgical microscope to a large 3D monitor. The Dietmar Hopp Foundation supported the equipping of four operating rooms with the integrative surgery management system, including the mobile 3D-HD system, with a donation of 570,000 Euros.
"The digital networking of various imaging data provides fascinating and very precise insight into the human brain. We are pleased to facilitate the work of neurosurgeons and to increase the safety of patients with our commitment," says Katrin Tönshoff, Secretary of the Dietmar Hopp Foundation.
Complex organ requires absolute precision in neurosurgical procedures
For brain tumor operations an absolute precision, careful preoperative planning, and close monitoring of the brain function during the surgery are vital. Until now, images from various devices were represented on each of their individual, smaller monitors. The surgeon is unable to view them all simultaneously. The new integrated system is full of benefits. With the BUZZ system, all imaging and measurements as well as surgical microscope images are displayed in parallel and partly consolidated. The surgical microscopes can be connected to the TRENION system. Thus, the 3D representation of the complex brain anatomy, previously only visible to the surgeon, can now be transmitted onto a large 3D observation monitor during surgery and is visible with 3D glasses for the entire operative team.
"Particularly for the assistants, the three-dimensional view of the surgery provided an "Aha" experience, making much of the sequence more understandable. This provides very positive effects on cooperation as well as education and training. Because the entire team sees more, everyone is involved, so they can follow the steps better and respond more quickly," explains Dr. Andreas Unterberg, Medical Director of the University's Department of Neurosurgery. "Previously, we had something like a puzzle, while the new system shows us the entire picture."
The Department of Neurosurgery at Heidelberg University Hospital is one of Europe's leading neurosurgical centers. Each year, some 12,000 patients are treated and more than 3,500 operations are performed.
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