UC San Diego Health launches augmented reality spine surgery

Patsy Newitt -  

Spine surgeons at UC San Diego Health began using augmented reality for spine surgery, according to an April 29 release.

The health system is reportedly the first on the West Coast to use this form of AR. Richard Allen, MD, PhD, was the center's first orthopedic surgeon to use the system on a complicated spinal fusion procedure, the release said. 

The three-dimensional navigation system allows surgeons to see inside the body during surgery. The operating team was able to accurately place screws in approximately half the time it would normally require.

"Less time in the operating room typically means less blood loss, lower risks of related complications, and the potential for a more rapid recovery," Dr. Allen said. "Of course, saving time should never be at the expense of safety. But with this technology, we can decrease operative time while actually improving safety."

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