THE 3D X-RAY; PS500K scanner makes ops safer.
AS surgeon Robert Lee performs a complicated and dangerous op on a woman's spine, he is guided by a revolutionary piece of kit.
The PS500,000 machine - called the O-Arm Scanner - produces 3D X-ray images of patients DURING ops, and is being used for the first time in the NHS.
These live pictures make surgery easier, quicker and safer.
Usually, medics only have access to inferior images that were sometimes taken weeks before the operation.
The Mirror saw the new scanner in action as Mr Lee and his team of 14 staff attempted to remove a tumour from a 70-year-old woman's back in a gruelling eight-hour op.
The scanner helped them insert metal screws in precisely the right place - just above and below the tumour - to support her spinal cord.
If the screws were put slightly too far in or too far out, she would be at risk of potentially life-threatening complications. The scanner, which had quickly been placed around the woman on the operating table, instantly relayed live pictures on a large screen above her head so the surgeons could see where to put the screws. Mr Lee, a consultant spinal surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where he performed the operation, said: "Normally, when you put screws in without the use of this technology, you are guided by the anatomy and your own view of the patient's spine from previous imaging.
"With the O-Arm Scanner you get a real life 3D model. The camera enables you to put the screws in exactly where they should be. It is extremely precise.
"It's not a substitute, however. I still know where to place the screws.
"It just helps make the process easier.
"This is a huge breakthrough that makes performing an operation much safer and much easier." The scanner spins 360 degrees around the patient during the op and takes 391 images in just 13 seconds.
Mr Lee said: "The incredible speed of the machine means those in theatre are exposed to minimal radiation. It means a lot when you consider how many times the team is exposed in a year."
The patient had been almost completely paralysed since October after the tumour began putting huge pressure on her spinal cord. With her back supported by the screws, the team at the hospital in Stanmore, North West London, were able to remove the tumour. The woman can now move her knees, ankles and feet. With further treatment, medics hope she will be able to walk again.
It's a huge radiation. when many is breakthrough that makes be operations much safer and easier SURGEON MR LEE since the putting on With
SUCCESS J Team removes spine tumour HI-TECH 3 Mr Lee is guided by X-rays
BACK TO 3THE FUTURE 3D picture of woman's spine taken during op. Right, scanner in action, and the images it produces to guide medics
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|Title Annotation:||News; Opinion, Columns|
|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jun 6, 2013|
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