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Archive Hot Technology 2018

Advances in Image-Guided Sinus Surgery

Enhanced real-time imaging and improved instrumentation tracking let surgeons operate smarter and safer.

JoEllen McBride

JoEllen McBride, PhD


Category: Outpatient Surgery > ENT
ENT Surgery
NEW VIEWS Advances in image-guidance technology merge virtual and live views of surgery on a single screen.

When the Piedmont Outpatient Surgery Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., opened in 2012, it didn't have an ENT image-guided platform. That meant the center's surgeons had to perform all of their image-guided sinus surgeries at a nearby hospital-owned outpatient center.

A couple years later, Administrator Brandi Cunningham, RN, BSN, BA, MHA, MBA, decided to see what it would take to keep the cases in her facility. She first made sure the majority of the center's patients who were sent out for sinus surgery met the criteria to have their procedures performed at the ASC. They did. She then performed a cost analysis, which showed keeping the cases in-house would let the facility pay off an image-guidance system of its own within a year.

"We're really happy with the system we chose and it's worked well for us for the last 4 years," says Ms. Cunningham, who's constantly keeping tabs on new developments in image guidance so she's prepared for the inevitable technology upgrade. When it's time for her (and you) to shop for a new system, there are several cool new innovations to consider.

1. Augmented reality

"For a decade, there hadn't been much advancement in navigation systems for ENT," says Martin Citardi, MD, chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery in McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. "But now there are 2 or 3 systems with new and competing technologies. It'll be interesting to watch how this new technology gets a foothold."

Dr. Citardi isn't just watching; he's used one of these new systems to perform the first U.S. sinus surgery using augmented reality (AR) for navigating the sinus cavity. AR merges the digital with the real world. "Five years ago, everyone was talking about virtual reality (VR), but that's faded," says Dr. Citardi. "AR is much more applicable to surgery."

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