May 31, 2017 6:51 pm

MUHC first in North America to use new augmented reality surgery technology

WATCH ABOVE: The MUCH is using a new technology to improve their ear, nose and throat surgeries: augmented reality. As Global Dan Spector reports, the MUHC says it's the first institution in North America to use the technology.

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In an operating room at the McGill University Health Center, Dr. Marc Tewfik is the first surgeon in North America to operate on a patient using a new augmented-reality tool called Target Guided Surgery.

With this technology, surgeons like Dr. Tewfik can create a surgery roadmap that allows for greater precision in complicated sinus surgeries.

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“What this system does is it actually takes the information that we get from the patient’s scans before surgery, and it actually puts it like a head up display on the screen when we’re operating,” Tewfik told Global News.

READ MORE: McGill University Health Centre users seek improved dialogue between administration and health ministry

Tewfik pointed to the fact that when performing surgeries surrounding sinus, there is a lot of danger.

“We have the eyes which are right next to it. We have the floor of the brain right on top of it. We have very large vessels, the internal carotid arteries in the back, the optic nerves also are important,” he said.

With this new technology, surgeons can map out the path their instruments will take through small spaces beforehand, and will be alerted if they’re straying off course.

“This will give us an extra safety to identify the patient’s anatomy and make sure we’re staying away from those danger zones, and able to do the surgery safely and completely,” says Tewfik.

READ MORE: MUHC concerned about patient care if budget cuts continue

Target Guided Surgery was invented in Germany, but the MUHC is the first hospital with the technology in North America.

Tewfik also mentioned how useful it can be for educational purposes.

“It helps new surgeons. Every surgeon has to learn, they have to start somewhere. And to have a system that gives them another safety net, to know exactly where they are and where they’re going is really helpful and reassuring.”

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