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7D Surgical System Brings Advanced Technology Close to Home

New system is first in Pennsylvania to bring radiation-free image-guided surgery to the spine and neck

When Lehigh Valley Hospital–Dickson City opened this spring, its surgical specialty focus was evident.

A highlight of the 100,000-square-foot facility – which boasts seven operating rooms and two procedure rooms – is the 7D Surgical System, the first in the region and state to provide radiation-free image-guided surgery for spinal and cranial navigation.

“The technology is very different from other navigation systems in that it doesn’t require the intraoperative CT scan,” explains Christopher Henderson, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon with Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute. “The system uses a sophisticated camera linked to a computer in the operating room. The underlying technology is similar to that used in the latest self-driving automobiles. It's an advanced technology that you'd expect to find in a larger metro area. By offering it in Lackawanna County, we can provide an even better experience for our patients, in a location that’s closer to home.”

“We’ve been doing complex spine surgery here for years, but this technology really ‘ups the ante’ in terms of the efficiency and safety with which we can do those kinds of complex spinal surgeries” - Christopher P. Henderson, MD

Surgical specifics

The new technology from 7D Surgical, part of SeaSpine, is applied to patients requiring surgery in the spinal area. Typically, surgeons achieve the needed visualization with intra-operative X-ray, CT scan or fluoroscopy, which can add a lot of time and radiation to the surgery, Henderson notes. The 7D system quickly takes detailed images of the person’s spine through the incision, then calibrates them with a preoperative low-dose CT scan to enable extremely high precision in the placement of rods and screws.

“The system allows for increased safety of putting in the instrumentation, increased speed and less radiation for patients in the operating room,” Henderson says, noting the advantages in treating conditions such as scoliosis or other deformities of the spine. Faster procedures also mean less time the person is under anesthesia, he adds, which can also reduce the recovery time for postoperative patients.

An optimal technology

The seamless, real-time view of a person’s anatomy for both spine and cranial navigation is a valuable asset to the entire surgical team.

“While there are several different navigation systems on the market, some require an ‘O’ arm, which is a huge machine. When we were building this hospital, I approached Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and said, ‘I think this technology is really perfect for my practice and for my patients,’” Henderson recalls.

“We’ve been doing complex spine surgery here for years, but this technology really ‘ups the ante’ in terms of the efficiency and safety with which we can do those kinds of complex spinal surgeries,” he says, noting that this advanced system is not applicable for simpler spinal surgeries like laminectomy or diskectomy.

“LVHN is committed to ongoing investment in leading-edge surgical technologies such as the 7D system to provide the best possible care to all our patients,” says Michael Pasquale, MD, Chair, Division of Surgery and Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence.

Referral center

Check the calendar

Providers can refer a person to Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence by calling 888-402-LVHN (5846). If you are a patient, call 888-402-LVHN to request an appointment.

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