Spinal surgery is no walk in the park; the invasive procedure can last six to seven hours. However, a recent Med-Tech News article discussed a new technology that aims to simplify the operation with the help of augmented reality. Dr. Kornelis Poelstra, director of The Robotic Spine Institute of Las Vegas, led the first-ever posterior lumbar fusion procedure with the help of an augmented reality headset and surgical robot. The headset allowed the surgeon and his team to precisely find the location of the implants.
Before the procedure, an orthopedic and neurological spine surgeon used the robotic platform to plan the implant and screw system placement. This makes the difficult procedure less invasive and more efficient by reducing the time the patient spends on the operating table, and reducing the soft-tissue damage for a speedier recovery. After the placement is planned, the surgeon put on the Xvision headset where augmented reality creates an anatomical blueprint to guide him.