What is an optical surgical navigation system?

A surgical navigation system is a device that helps the planning and execution of surgical procedures in operating rooms, that is, it allows guiding surgical instruments such as the scalpel. It consists of instruments that are connected to screens by sensors with image methods. There are two types of navigation system: optical and electromagnetic, providing flexibility and efficiency combined in a design that takes up little space in the operating room.

Currently there is an increase in the demand for minimally invasive surgeries, with reduced hospital stays, little pain for the patient and rapid wound healing. This has generated a growth in the demand for optical surgical navigation systems.

Surgical navigation systems offer optical tracking capabilities as well as integration with external devices such as microscopes and ultrasound.

Procedures where optical surgical navigation systems can be used

  • Biopsy
  • Catheter placement
  • Tumor resection
  • Spinal decompression
  • Pelvic or spinal fixation
  • Treatment for spinal or sacral trauma
  • Positioning of the deep brain stimulation electrode

What is the function of a navigation system?

These optical surgical navigation systems are intended to help accurately locate anatomical structures in open or percutaneous procedures. They are now considered an integral part of computer-assisted surgery. That is, they provide surgical procedures based on digital imaging technology and give surgeons the opportunity to perform preoperative planning and precise handling of instruments during the operation.

In this sense, surgical navigation systems work with conventional imaging techniques such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

What is an optical surgical navigation system based on?

An optical surgical navigation system is based on the principle of stereoscopic vision with high precision and low cost. At present these surgical navigation system equipment mainly include polaris navigation system, micron navigation system and others.

These systems are also used in guided neurosurgery. Polaris surgical navigation systems display position information on the monitor using 3D measurement navigation technology through a positioning laser.

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