Michigan's Community Health Center installs BrainLab's VectorVision sky for image-guided surgery

Westchester 09 March 2004The Community Health Center (CHR) of Branch County, Michigan, is the first hospital in the United States to install VectorVision sky, developed by BrainLAB AG, a worldwide innovator of Image-Guided Surgery (IGS) and stereotactic radiosurgery systems. It is also the first centre in Michigan to offer minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery using this technology. VectorVision sky, the ceiling-mounted version of BrainLAB's flagship image-guided surgery platform, VectorVision, offers maximum flexibility for utilization and positioning while at the same time enabling unrestricted movement of the surgery table for intra-operative imaging.

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Using infrared cameras, patient-specific 3D bone models and easy-to use tracking devices, VectorVision sky revolutionizes computer-assisted knee replacement procedures by achieving alignment to within the safety zone of +/- 3 degree in a high percentage of the cases. Since the computer and power source are located outside of the operating room, VectorVision sky eliminates potential space constraint problems in the operating room.

"Functionality in the operating room is key for any surgical team, but is heightened with the use of advanced, minimally invasive techniques. VectorVision sky allows us to have increased mobility and space in the operating room", explained Richard Hartman, D.O., CHC Orthopaedic Surgeon. "Implant alignment during knee replacement surgery is vital, and with VectorVision sky technology, we deliver a high degree of accuracy, and eliminate multiple steps required in traditional knee surgery."

Use of VectorVision sky for total knee replacement surgery offers several advantages to patients, including more accurate alignment, optimization of the leg's range of motion, up to a 60 percent smaller scar, less post-operative pain, a potentially longer-lasting implant and a faster return to an active lifestyle.

"Orthopaedic surgery is taking a significant leap forward with new technologies that enable doctors to reduce invasiveness and improve clinical results", stated Stefan Vilsmeier, BrainLAB founder and CEO. "VectorVision sky is part of a new and innovative generation of software-based navigation tools that dramatically enhances the overall quality of care to patients."

VectorVision forms the connection between diagnostic data including fluoro images, CT or MR, and the patient's anatomy as seen during the surgical procedure. It also enables navigation without the need for diagnostic data by generating a three-dimensional model of the area to be treated, such as the knee for instance, by acquiring specific landmarks intra-operatively. Similar to a pilot using radar equipment, the surgeon can determine the target volume of the operation with millimeter precision. VectorVision assists the surgeon in planning procedures with greater precision and guides his or her instruments while allowing the surgeon to visualize them in real-time on-screen. It also enables verification of treatment steps during surgery, to avoid complications and correct treatment errors in time.

The clinical benefits associated with image-guided surgery continue to drive its acceptance and growth worldwide. VectorVision forms the central platform for image-guided surgery and supports neurosurgical, orthopaedic, trauma and ear, nose and throat procedures. The system works without wires and allows surgeons to integrate their own instruments into the operating procedure.

BrainLAB, a privately held company headquartered in Munich, Germany, was founded in 1989 and is specialized in the development, manufacture, and marketing of medical technology for radiosurgery, radiotherapy, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, and ENT. Among the products developed by BrainLAB are software and hardware components for image-guided surgery, components for linear accelerators in radiotherapy as well as integrated systems for stereotactic radiosurgery.

With 840 navigation systems and 330 radiosurgery systems installed worldwide, BrainLAB is among the market leaders in image-guided medical technology. Having achieved revenues of 127 million USD in FY 2003 BrainLAB now works with distributors in over 70 countries and has 15 offices across Europe, Asia, North and South America. More information about BrainLAB's VectorVision is available in the VMW August 2002 article BrainLab's 3D VectorVision navigation system debuts in European and United States surgery procedures.


Leslie Versweyveld

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