Image-guided surgery is highly advanced and frequently adapted, so physicians who utilize it receive extensive and ongoing training.
Image-guided surgery was initially developed for use in neurosurgery but has since been adapted for use in other fields, including endoscopic sinus surgery. This type of surgery utilizes computerized tomography, or CT scans, with an image guidance system. The images will come from a small tube, called an endoscope, which has a camera lens on one end. The image guidance system creates a three dimensional representation of the CT scan.
This allows the physician to see the patient’s specific structures and their locations, which can prevent errors due to individual variation.
Even more importantly, this three-dimensional technology allows the surgeon to see where their surgical instruments are in relation to the patient’s internal structures in real time.
Image-guided surgery is utilized throughout a number of fields, because this technique allows the surgeon to see any obstructions or critical structures clearly. In the field of sinus surgery, the image-guided technique is often used during nasal polyp removal. This type of surgery can also be used for chronic sinusitis, sinus mucoceles, dacryocystorhinostomy, choanal atresia repair, and many other sinus ailments. Image-guided sinus surgery has also been used as a treatment for certain nosebleed conditions.
Image-guided sinus surgery is most often used for polyp and cyst removal. The main advantage with this technology-driven surgery is that it allows the operating surgeon to adjust their operation in real-time. This is particularly important when it comes to surgery within the sinuses, because these areas are small, prone to variation, and close to many vital structures.
A lot of the variation in nasal structures comes from previous procedures. For example, people who experience nasal polyps often will have them surgically removed only to have them recur. These prior procedures can mean that there is scarring or damage that the surgeon needs to be aware of. Using image-guided technology allows the surgeon to delicately work around these differences, as well as the location of the eyes, brain, and blood vessels.
What to Expect
Prior to the actual procedure, the patient will have a CT scan done. During the procedure, the images from this scan will be pulled up in order to establish reference points. These reference points will be tested and adjusted before the operation proceeds. The specifics of the procedure will vary depending on the type of operation being performed. In general, the surgeon will utilize the images, verified by the reference points, to perform the operation.