TECH SA: Device allows for less invasive spine surgery, faster recovery times, improved outcomes

SAN ANTONIO – North Central Baptist Hospital is advancing patient care with the O-arm multidimensional imaging system.

The O-arm device provides surgeons with images of different dimensions, allowing surgeons such as spine surgeon Dr. Steven Cyr to get a better assessment of the patient's anatomy.

“If you go too far on the inside, you can damage the nerves of the spinal cord. If you go too forward on the spine, you can damage the artery,” Cyr said.

Surgeons can view the patient's anatomy in the operative position, monitor the status of the surgery and verify the surgical changes with a 3D image prior to the patient leaving the surgical suite.

"We put the scanner in place and we can scan the patient’s body, almost like a cat scan,” Dr. Cyr said.

Cyr has been a spine surgeon for nearly 15 years and said this technology helps in more complicated cases.

"People that have had surgeries before -- multiple surgeries -- when they come to you, the anatomy is no longer normal. It's been distorted from the attempted surgery, so when you are trying to place a screw and the anatomy is no longer normal, you want something precise that gives you an anatomy,” Cyr said.

With technology changing constantly, Cyr said he hopes for a breakthrough in surgical methods that will allow for even less invasive spinal procedures.

“The hope is that one day we don’t have to do fusions anymore. We can use injections and stem cells and regenerate normal tissues without the need to fuse,” Cyr said.

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