3D technology in the operating room: the neurosurgery of the future

The Neurosurgery team of Maria Cecilia Hospital, part of GVM Care & Research, performed a pioneering operation using the innovative video-micro-surgical technique with a digital microscope with a 4K 3D orbital camera with an exoscopic approach for the removal of an extensive brain tumor.

It is the only high-tech device with a camera positioned outside the human body capable of guaranteeing the carrying out of the surgical practice by reproducing images on the screen by integrating a 3D signal with image depth at a resolution of 4K, allowing a strong enlargement of even tiny anatomical details.

A 40-year-old young woman was suffering from an hourglass meningioma that had developed between the brain and the cerebellum, occupying a large part of the left brain. The risk for the patient was to develop seizures, speech and motor deficits in the limbs of the right side of the body. Given the particular position and conformation of the neoplasm, it was essential to identify the most suitable surgical therapy.

The use of the exoscope allowed to enlarge the operating field on a 55 ” monitor with 3D images and 4K resolution. The support arm on which the camera was mounted allowed the surgeon to work with freer movements allowing greater precision in the excision of the neoplasm.

The medical team was made up of Dr. Alberto Delitala, of dr. Ignazio Borghesi, of dr. Fabio Calbucci and dr. Riccardo Draghi, with an excellent anesthetic team and a highly trained nursing team that supports patients from the moment they enter the facility, assists the surgeons during the surgery and the patient in the post-operative phase.

“The patient came to me following an epileptic seizure – says Dr. Alberto Delitala, specialist in Neurosurgery of the GVM Care & Research Group – Having identified the neoplasm, instead of proceeding with a radical removal of a very large tumor, with a considerable risk for the patient, we preferred to divide the operation into two stages, a choice perhaps more tiring and expensive but certainly the best for the quality of the patient’s life”.

The complete removal of the meningioma had an excellent outcome, the patient left the ICU the next day, returned to her home and resumed her daily life.

“If 50 years ago the promise of surgery was the optical microscope, in the next 50 years it will be cameras with video images – comments Dr. Ignazio Borghesi, head of the Neurosurgery Unit at Maria Cecilia Hospital -. We are moving towards a future where microsurgery will be increasingly associated with augmented virtual reality. All this allows greater precision in the operating room, a reduction in surgical risk and margins of error, increasing the quality of life and survival of patients. It also facilitates the educational process thanks to live 3D images, in real time without the delay of digital tools, showing to those in the operating room the details of the procedure and the anatomical area concerned, allowing more participation and potentially even training from abroad”.

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