Surgeons Use Augmented Reality In The Operating Room

The augmented reality device can help doctors during complicated spine surgeries, according to surgeons in Frisco

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Doctors in Frisco are using three dimensional technology to ease back pain.

They're the first in the state to use augmented reality during spine surgery and their patient says he's now able to get back to life before back problems.

Even a small walk down the hallway was near impossible for Jerry Guy of Plano.

"It was getting worse and worse by the day. I'd get sharp pains in the back of my thighs like someone was stabbing me with a knife," said Guy.

Doctors determined that slipped discs in his spine were putting pressure on his nerves and he needed a spinal fusion to correct the problem.

Surgeons at Baylor Scott & White in Frisco have a new tool to take the procedure to the next level.

"It's called augmented reality. This technology actually allows us to see the bony anatomy in real-time, in a 3-D model that we can see while we are placing the screws, improving our ability to safely place the screws in the patient's bones," said orthopedic spine surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Frisco Dr. Ishaq Syed.

The surgical technology is said to be similar to the display navigation used in the helmets of jet fighter pilots and studies have shown, that with augmented reality guiding surgeons through what can be a complicated spine surgery, outcomes have improved to more than a 95% success rate as a result of better accuracy.

"It cuts down on our operating time and most importantly, improves our patient's overall safety by placing spinal instrumentation where it's needed," said Dr. Syed.

Dr. Syed placed the screws exactly where needed during Guy's spinal infusion surgery and days later, he said he felt better than he has in years.

"I never dreamed I would have this outcome. I knew I'd wake up and feel better, but I have no pain and when I say I have no pain, I have no pain!" said Guy.

The FDA approved this technology late last year and it was used for the first time in the U.S. this summer.

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