Augmented Reality Surgery Just Happened, For Real

By Gizmodo Australia on at

New technology using augmented reality and mixed reality are helping surgeons plan and position (in real time) patients undergoing ear, nose and throat surgery.

Known as Target Guided Surgery (TGS), it's helping top make even the most complex surgery safer - especially for even operations close to the optic nerve and the brain.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is the first institution in North America to use augmented reality (layering computer-generated enhancements on top of existing reality) and mixed reality (merging real and virtual worlds so that physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time) in sinus surgery.

TGS integrates with the operating room video endoscopy system and gives the medical team whole new abilities for performing and watching the surgery. The technology is created by Berlin-based tech-company Scopis, and can also be used in craniofacial, spinal and neurological operations.

Dr. Marc Tewfik, MUHC director of Rhinology and assistant professor in the department of Otolaryngology at McGill University, performed the first surgery using the AR/MR navigation system.

"One of the main benefits of using TGS is the ability to identify critical anatomical structures and to plan the safe placement of surgical instruments," said Dr Tewfik. "Endoscopic sinus surgery is particularly complex and in addition to improving safety, this technology reduces surgical time."

"Surgical planning, as well as the actual surgery, can be recorded by the Scopis system. This feature turns any operation into educational content that we can use to teach residents," said Dr Nader Sadeghi, who is chair and chief of the McGill and MUHC departments of Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery).

"This technology supports our focus on education and in using innovative solutions for complex medical challenges."


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