AdventHealth for Children is the first and only children’s hospital in Florida and the eastern U.S. to use the 7D Surgical FLASH™ Navigation System, which provides a quicker, radiation-free alternative to traditional image-guided spinal surgery. Approved by the FDA in 2017, this new technology was designed to achieve less radiation for the patient and medical team as well as less blood loss, infection, pain and recovery time for the patient.
“Unlike other surgical navigation systems that require interoperative ionizing radiation, the 7D FLASH™ System uses machine vision technology similar to that of a self-driving car or facial recognition functions on a cell phone,” explains Raymund Woo, MD, Medical Director of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at AdventHealth for Children. “Two high-resolution stereoscopic cameras use structured visible light to analyze surface anatomy within seconds and compare it to a previously obtained spinal CT. The system then creates a full-color 3D image map of the patient’s bony anatomy that consists of hundreds of thousands of data points to precisely guide us in performing the surgery.”
Excessive x-ray radiation exposure to children can affect organ development and may cause reproduction problems later in life so pediatric physicians strive to minimize x-ray dosage.
“Current techniques for scoliosis surgery require the use of an intraoperative CT scan or a fluoroscopy x-ray machine, and there are concerns about radiation safety of the patient during the operation,” points out Dr. Woo. “With the new FLASH™ System, we are able to eliminate the use of radiation.”
AdventHealth for Children is currently using the FLASH™ System for all scoliosis surgeries as well as for surgeries to treat spinal tumors and fractures and has performed 50 pediatric surgeries with the new system since March 2021.
A recent study published in the Spine Journal compared surgical outcomes, including radiation exposure, of the FLASH™ Navigation System with a traditional 3D fluoroscopic navigation system in adult patients undergoing open posterior lumbar instrumented fusion. It found a 96.4% reduction in radiation time and a 93.55% reduction in radiation dose with the FLASH™ System. Another recent article published in Frontiers in Surgery discusses the advantages of machine vision surgical navigation and also suggests there is the potential for additional clinical applications of this new technology, including reducing the potential for wrong level spine surgery and providing real-time tracking of spinal deformity correction.
AdventHealth for Children is currently conducting clinical research on its own pediatric outcomes using the FLASH™ Navigation System and hopes to publish the results soon. Preliminary findings include decreased radiation dose, operative time and estimated blood loss (EBL).
“We’re excited about this groundbreaking technology and what it means for our patients both now and in the future.” says Dr. Woo. “We’re always seeking new ways to optimize patient safety and outcomes.”
For more information, contact AdventHealth Pediatric Orthopaedics at Call407-303-5687.