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Augmented reality spinal surgery debuts at UC San Diego Health

Hospital is first on West Coast to use new tool
Posted at 6:01 AM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 10:29:15-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - Doctors at UC San Diego Health are the first on the West Coast to use a new augmented reality tool for spinal surgeries.

The Augmedics Xvision Spine System lets them see a 3D rendering of the spine they're operating on, as well as multiple other views of the spine, while never having to take their eyes off the patient.

The hospital got the tool in April. Already they've used it on nine spinal surgeries.

"It's an exciting technology," says Dr. Richard Allen, who has performed six surgeries with the XVision.

"It allows me to be safe and efficient, for potentially less blood loss, shorter operating time, potentially lower pain scores, rapid mobility and recovery, and get patients back to their life."

Dr. Allen compares the tool to a GPS navigation system in the car. But instead of looking away from the road to see the navigation screen, it's superimposed on the windshield.

"With this system, you can look at the spine the way you normally do and see everything," he explains. "You have your same hand and the muscle memory you normally have, but you have that extra reassurance through that 3D navigational system."

Dr. Allen says it can be used for surgeries on spinal fractures, scoliosis, herniated discs, and tumor removal. The augmented reality allows all of it to be more precise.

For more information, contact UC San Diego Health. Always consult with your physician before deciding on any form of treatment.