Monday, March 13, 2017

How about a virtual dry run of your operation?

Your humble correspondent here is facing hernia surgery and due to weight, age, atrial fibrillation (heart arrythmia), I am considered a sketchy candidate. So you better appreciate me while you can. (My long-time readers know I tend to overstate--at least I hope I am.)

Anyhow, some docs got together at US San Diego and did a virtual operation on a guy to practice for his real operation.

This caught my interest for sure.

It was colon surgery (part had to be removed) and they made a lifesize model of his guts. Then the surgeon would do a run-through before "breaking ground," as it were.

The patient, a colleague, was into what he calls "the quantified self." This means knowing and understanding every aspect of your insides down to the microbes living in there.

At present, doctors are limited to imaging, patient history, physical findings, lab tests and the surgeon's experience.

When it was time for the operation in this case, though, the doctor said she looked back and forth between the computerized dry run and the patient's actual insides and it was incredibly helpful.

She admitted using this tool would take surgeons some adjustment. You see different views, she said, the actual patient, the run-through, cameras inside during the actual operation--it takes some work to put it all together.

She added that this technique brought more technology into the room to reduce risks.

I guess my surgeon will have to ready for surprises--but I bet future generations will benefit from this.

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