idwest Orthopaedics at Rush have recently announced that the Professor and Director of the Division of Spine Surgery and the Section of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Frank Phillips, has completed the world's first AR minimally invasive spine surgery at the center, using Augmedics’ xvision Spine System surgical guidance technology.

The AR Augmedics system enables surgeons to see a patient’s 3D spinal anatomy, as if the surgeon themself have x-ray vision. Dr. Phillips used this technology to perform a lumbar fusion with spinal implants on a patient with spinal instability. 

When talking about the AR spinal surgery Dr. Phillips stated:

“Having 3D spinal anatomic and 2D CT scan images directly projected onto the surgeon’s retina and superimposed over the surgical field takes spinal surgery to another level,”

Augmedics states that its FDA-cleared xvision system has been created to revolutionise spinal surgery, by giving surgeons better control and visualisation, which can lead to easier, quicker and safer operations.

Dr. Phillips went on to say:

 “Being able to place minimally invasive spinal instrumentation extremely accurately and efficiently, reducing surgical time and complication risk, is critical to improving outcomes for spinal surgery. Traditional surgical navigation platforms have been shown to improve accuracy of implant placement, however using augmented reality allows for the advantages of traditional (non-3D) navigation plus the ability to visualise the patients spinal anatomy in 3D through the skin.”
Augmented reality spinal surgery

Augmedics, based in Chicago, designed and developed the xvision Spine System which consists of a transparent near-eye-display headset. The system accurately determines the position of surgical tools, in real time, and a virtual trajectory is then superimposed on the patient’s CT data. 

In a minimally invasive procedure, the 3D navigation data is then projected onto the surgeon’s retina using the headset, assisting them to simultaneously look at the patient and see the navigation data without averting their eyes during the operation. In a percutaneous cadaver study performed by Dr. Phillips and colleagues at Rush Medical Center, the xvision Spine System demonstrated 98.9% screw placement accuracy.

Founder and CEO of Augmedics, Nissan Elimelech, commented: 

“When we set out to create a better navigation system, we knew it had to be intuitively designed to work within the surgical workflow and align the hands and eyes of the surgeon, eliminating the need to avert his or her eyes to an ancillary screen. Our innovative visualization technology breaks down the wall between traditional navigation and the patient”. Elimelech continued, “Moreover, the xvision Spine System’s 3D anatomy visualisation allows surgeons to accurately guide instruments and implants intraoperatively, in real time, while looking directly at the patient, as if they had x-ray vision.”
Jul 23, 2020
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