Advanced Imaging Capabilities in the Operating Room Improves Precision and Patient Safety
Release Date: 04/12/2007

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OMAHA, Neb. –Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center introduces a breakthrough technology with three-dimensional imaging capabilities to allow surgeons additional precision when performing complex spine surgeries. Alegent Health, together with the Nebraska Spine Center, LLP is one of the first health systems in the nation to incorporate the O-arm™ Imaging System into the operating room. The O-arm™ Imaging System is a machine that provides real-time, three-dimensional images to improve patient safety and overall quality of care.

“The O-arm™ is revolutionary to the operating room because it allows physicians the ability to see a crystal clear 360-degree picture of the patient’s spine in real time,” said Michael Longley M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with the Nebraska Spine Center. “The capability to quickly view the area of the spine that you are operating on in great detail results in more accurate positioning and better patient outcomes. This is especially critical when it comes to performing minimally invasive spine surgery cases that are extremely complicated.”

The Breakaway Imaging O-arm™, distributed by Medtronic Navigation, features two-dimensional fluoroscopy and 3-D imaging. The system is also capable of robotic positioning that enables the surgeon to program up to five views into memory as well as automatically return to preset positions. This allows for faster imaging that is of better quality, provides easier patient access and reduced radiation exposure for the patient.

Unlike the C-arm, the O-arm’s donut-shaped telescoping gantry allows for 360-degree imaging of the patient quickly—capturing nearly 400 images in approximately 30 seconds. These detailed pictures are then displayed on a 30-inch flat panel monitor directly in the surgical suite. This superior image quality allows surgeons improved spinal navigation and placement of surgery instruments and implants in minimally invasive and open spinal surgical cases.

“This superior technology marks a vast improvement to the C-arm, which only allowed physicians to see two-dimensional picture of the spine,” said Kevin Miller, operations director of Surgery for Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center. “The O-arm demonstrates Alegent Health’s continued commitment to providing world-class service, which our patients have come to expect.”

Alegent Health and the Nebraska Spine Center, LLP perform nearly 650 spine surgeries each year. With the addition of this innovative technology, Miller expects that number to dramatically increase. To date, Alegent Health is one of six health systems in the nation with the O-arm.