Press Conference for O – Αrm surgical imaging system


The fully portable O-arm surgical imaging system by Medtronic, a hi-tec company, is a multi-dimensional, revolutionary platform used in the biggest surgical centres worldwide and indeed a ‘landmark’ for intra-operative imaging. Coupled with a surgical navigation system it is the only such system to guarantee 100% accuracy in locating and managing even the finest and most sensitive lesions and damage!

The system’s accuracy allows for accessing and operating on even exceptionally high risk areas, eliminating scope for medical error and thus particularly delicate, even previously inoperable, cerebrocranial areas may be accessed to have brain and spinal cord tumors removed, as well as musculoskeletal pelvic masses and tumors from the limbs, while moreover spinal procedures are becoming safer and more effective thanks to this innovative technology.

O-arm’s unique features signify a dramatic drop for surgery time required (which is now less by up to 50%), and even high-risk patients may nowadays be operated on! In addition, on top of the fact that the number of indications has increased, O-arm technology provides real-time 3-D images of organs during surgery, thus minimizing surgical risk while at the same time increasing patient survival rates.

This is what Panagiotis Papangelopoulos, Athens University Professor of Orthopedics and Chief of Orthopedic University Clinic A’ at ATTIKON General Hospital, and Mediterraneo Hospital Neurosurgeon Georgios Athanassiou, Chief of  Neurosurgery

Mr. Papangelopoulos pointed out that the Orthopedic Clinic A’ at ATTIKON General Hospital currently uses advanced and novel technologies in the field of surgical navigation. O-arm with Navigation is used mostly for total arthroplasties, trauma, spinal surgery and also, as of late, so as to have musculoskeletal masses from the limbs and the pelvis removed.

Navigation systems have been rapidly developing in recent years. They are now used in spinal surgery for they provide real time 3D images of anatomical areas during surgery while allowing for locating the exact anatomical position of surgical tools and implants (screws). As a result, Navigation affords a detailed surgical access plan and imaging access to screws and implants in real time.

Navigation has moreover been used as of late in myoskeletal mass surgical rescissions. ‘We have on various occasions used Navigation systems for the transcutaneous cauterization of osteoid osteomas or in metastatic lesions along with osteoplasty. We are trying to improve the use of surgical Navigation so as to safely remove masses from the spinal column as well as malignant tumors from the pelvis, to preserve healthy tissue around the mass while at the same time minimizing complications and functional losses for the patient’, Professor Papangelopoulos said.
Mr. Athanassiou stressed that especially as concerns spinal surgery, big-scale spinal fusions to manage severe scoliosis, either in teenagers or due to degenerative causes, are among the most serious procedures. The number of patients in need of spinal fusion is daily on the rise due to an ageing population and our sedentary way of life. Many spinal fusion cases are quite advanced age-wise which begets various other problems too. Support from an anaesthesiologist’s point of view can be quite demanding but it is also a challenge for medical science today.

And on top of that, Mr. Athanassiou underlined, patients are known to be fearful of paralysis due to anesthesia when having spinal surgery. There neither cause for insecurity and fear as regards nerves and nervous tissue remaining intact any longer nor is there any reason for fear on the part of either surgeons or patients about any type of possible paralysis after surgery as it is now down to zero.

As less time is needed in the OR and there are fewer possible complications for the nerves, it is now feasible to cut down on time for anaesthesia, to contain blood loss, do fewer transfusions, limit time spent in the ICU post-op, get patients less exposed to infectious agents and thus overall patient stress drops which in turn signifies lower morbidity rates owing to non-surgical issues.

For his part Mr. Vougioukas underpinned that neuro-Navigation has been an integral part of many types of Surgery (Neuro-, General-, Orthopedic-, Gnatho-surgery) for the past ten years. This technique mostly counts on pre-op imagery (MRI and CT axial scans) to help surgeons navigate safely through parts of the body characterised by tough anatomy and difficult access.