3D X-rays to facilitate faster surgeries

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2011, 13:44 PM IST

London: A new 3D X-ray system which could be integrated seamlessly into surgical procedure, permitting doctors to check their results instantly, will do away with the necessity of interrupting operations.

A surgery always places strain on patients and more so in complicated operations. Surgeons use 3D X-rays to check the results and avoid complications, but it also means interrupting the surgery.

Such systems have to be wheeled over to the operating table to capture the images and then moved out of the way again.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute IPK in Germany are currently working on a solution to this problem, according to a Fraunhofer statement.

Together with the Charite-Universitätsmedizin Berlin University Hospital and Ziehm Imaging GmbH, they are developing ORBIT, a 3D X-ray scanner that can be integrated into operations and does not cause delays.

"Unlike existing three-dimensional imaging procedures, ORBIT doesn`t have to surround the patient to capture images. Instead, it`s an open system in which the X-ray source follows a circular path above the operating table," says professor Erwin Keeve.

"This makes capturing images much quicker, because it does away with time-consuming preparations," adds the professor at the Berliner Zentrum für Mechatronische Medizintechnik, a centre founded by the IPK and Charite.

"It takes about 15 minutes to bring a C-arm into position (system currently used), record individual projected images of the patient and then convert them into 3D image data."

"Since X-ray scanning takes less time with ORBIT, it speeds up the overall surgical procedure. Plus, it`s an easier system to use, which means doctors will be more inclined to make this diagnostic tool a routine part of their work," Keeve explained.

The system will be displayed at the Medica 2011 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, Nov 16-19.

IANS