Surgeons never "blind nor lost" anymore with enhanced StealthStation TREON 3D navigator

Minneapolis 07 February 2001Achieving another milestone in the accuracy and precision of surgery on the brain, spine and other anatomical systems, Medtronic Inc. launched its StealthStation TREON Treatment Guidance System. The system adds new features of virtual intelligence to build on the success of the more than 650 predecessor StealthStation Systems now in use. These surgical navigation systems bring new hope for precise treatment to patients with tumours in high-risk areas, because they facilitate resolution of problems previously considered inoperable.


The enhancements to the StealthStation TREON System are expected to receive similar rapid acceptance in the surgical community. It further refines the computerised technologies of multi-dimensional imaging and navigation to enable neurosurgeons to precisely plan, re-plan and visualise a procedure as it proceeds deep within the brain, spine or other operative sites. The system equally applies the technologies of fluoroscopy, ultrasound, digital viewing and microscope integration to make procedures ranging from biopsy to tumour removal faster and more precise.

Navigation guidance systems provide increased confidence and precision in the use of surgical instruments, thus decreasing operative time and the potential for complications. These systems deliver this patient benefit by allowing the surgeon, in real time, to "track" the position of instruments in relationship to the operative objective and the patient's anatomy. Before the arrival of the StealthStation System and the TREON System's refinements, the only way surgeons could comfortably visualise a three-dimensional space based on two-dimensional diagnostic scans was through experience.

Andrew Weiss, vice president and general manager of Medtronic Surgical Navigation Technologies (SNT), believes that the StealthStation TREON System will build on the success of the StealthStation product line. "Medtronic SNT pioneered this technology and market since the first generation of StealthStation systems 10 years ago. Since then, the StealthStation System has become the most accepted image-guided surgery system in the world. In the more than 650 sites where the StealthStation System is installed, it has become the standard of care, assisting physicians in providing new levels of precision and accuracy for a broad range of invasive surgeries."

"Our new StealthStation TREON System builds on our long years of experience by providing an unprecedented combination of flexibility and ease of use. The TREON System is completely compatible with our traditional applications, satisfying the requirements of the most demanding academic institutions. At the same time, the system's ease of use allows us to offer its breadth and capability to institutions which had previously felt that image-guided surgery was too complex for their needs", stated Mr. Weiss.

Simplicity of operation and reliability were engineering objectives, enhancing the range of new StealthStation TREON System features and options. These include the FAZER Contour Laser, first of its type commercially available in the United States, which enables surgeons to scan the surface of a patient's anatomy with a laser. The TREON System is then able to recognise how that anatomy maps to its associated Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance (MR) scan. The FAZER laser eliminates the need for anatomical markers to create this mapping.

Other built-in features constitute the TargetLock Aiming Mechanism, a laser pointer refined to allow the camera to be perfectly adjusted in seconds; the Mach 4.0 Graphical User Interface, which features proprietary target-centric accuracy and colour three-dimensional guidance to give exact real time feedback and superior levels of surgeon visualisation and control; the High-resolution TouchSite flat panel touch screen colour display; and the Dicom query/retrieve storage to call back any prior image stored in the system.

The new system is designed for user-friendliness in all surgical suites. Its two components, camera cart and viewing cart, can be used apart from each other to save space in the sterile field or docked in a small footprint for storage. The camera and display are designed for compatibility with any type of imaging media and all parts of the system may be easily repositioned. An uninterruptible power supply is integrated. Medtronic Surgical Navigation Technologies forms part of Medtronic Inc. and is headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, as a manufacturer of image-guided surgery systems.

Leslie Versweyveld

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