LIMA — The world’s first portable tomography scanner, BodyTom, is now being utilized at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s to ensure that brain and spinal surgical operations are more accurate than ever before.
The full-body 32-slice CT scanner is a multi-departmental imaging system that can be used in any room and transitions into an advanced imaging suite.
Once the surgery patient is under anesthesia and has received a CT scan, the images are uploaded to a computer workstation, which allows surgeons to precisely view the patient’s brain or spine.
Through the use of a surgical navigational system manufactured by Stryker, a probe is placed on the patient’s spine or brain to accurately view where they are operating, according to Dr. Mario Ammirati, Chair of Neurosurgery and Surgical Director of the Neuroscience Institute for Mercy Health-St. Rita’s.
Both the BodyTom, coupled with the Stryker, is essential for surgeons because they can accurately view the patient’s brain during the removal of a brain tumor or the insertion of screws during a spine fusion procedure, according a news release.
Overall, BodyTom helps reduces operating case time, improves patient safety, promotes increased accuracy, decreases exposure to radiation and improves image quality.
“We use navigation because it is very safe and very precise,” said Ammirati. “If for whatever reason we have a screw in the wrong place, we can fix it when the patient is still on the operating room table. This leads to fewer complications in brain and spine surgery and prevents fewer patients from needing to go back to the operating room.”
There are only 17 in the nation, with only two in Ohio — Mercy Health St. Rita’s and another in Mt. Carmel in Columbus, according to Tomasz Jankowski, director of the Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Neuroscience Institute.
During a surgery Tuesday, Ammirati and his medical team staff used the BodyTom to scan the body of a female patient with a large disc that was out of place. Through the help of the BodyTom and the Stryker’s navigational system, they were able to remove a large disc from her spine and conduct a spine fusion.
“This technique has been used for at least 10 or 11 years,” said Ammirati. “While working at Ohio State, we used a similar system, but that was not as sophisticated as this system that we have here.”
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