New guidance system could improve minimally invasive surgery

Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a computerised process that could make minimally invasive surgery more accurate and streamlined using equipment already common in the operating room.

 

In a report the researchers say initial testing of the algorithm shows that their image-based guidance system is potentially superior to conventional tracking systems that have been the mainstay of surgical navigation over the last decade.

 

'Imaging in the operating room opens new possibilities for patient safety and high-precision surgical guidance,' says Jeffrey Siewerdsen, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical engineering in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 'In this work, we devised an imaging method that could overcome traditional barriers in precision and workflow. Rather than adding complicated tracking systems and special markers to the already busy surgical scene, we realised a method in which the imaging system is the tracker and the patient is the marker.'

 

Siewerdsen explains that current state-of-the-art surgical navigation involves an often cumbersome process in which someone