GPS technology has found its way into the operating room, providing surgeons with greater accuracy in delicate operations and patients with increased safety. Methodist Hospitals' investment in this cutting-edge treatment supports their vision of being a leader in delivering specialty care, becoming an academic teaching institution, and providing unprecedented health care in Northwest Indiana.
Methodist Hospitals is the only hospital within a 200-mile radius extending to Michigan and Chicago to offer this technology. The Stryker Navigation System is housed in the newly completed Multi-Specialty Navigational Operating Room Suite. Suites are dedicated to neurological, spinal and orthopedic surgeries. Now Northwest Indiana patients needn't travel out of the area to receive the most advanced treatments available.
The system relies on infrared cameras and tracking software to help surgeons precisely navigate to the exact area that needs treatment. Exceptionally accurate and easy to use, the system creates greater efficiencies during surgery and can enhance patient outcomes. In addition, it allows for substantially less exposure to radiation, protecting both the patient and staff.
According to Elian Shepherd, MD, Spine Care Center Medical Director, the unique suite is the next step in technology. "We have done surgery for a long time and now we're trying to improve it," Shepherd said. "In spinal surgery there is simply no room for error. You have to be exact 100 percent of the time and this navigation system will help you to do that."
The efficiencies afforded by the Stryker Navigation System help improve the longevity and function of knee and hip implants in a less invasive procedure. Judson B. Wood, Jr., MD, orthopedic surgeon, believes the Stryker system places Methodist on the forefront of orthopedic surgery in the area. "The ability to make more accurate cuts of the bone when we're placing prostheses means they will be in better alignments, which leads to better recovery and outcomes," said Wood. "With the computer making the measurements for us, it is exactly fitted to the patient."
The ability to have a unique perspective, viewing a three dimensional image of patient anatomy is a boon to neurosurgeons and their patients as well. Prior to the Stryker system, Methodist invested in a navigation system specialized to the brain that helps by mapping the brain prior to surgery. Hytham Rifai, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery at Methodist Hospitals explained, "GPS-like navigation makes surgery very accurate and helps us do procedures that would otherwise not be possible." He added, "Using the Stryker system gives us a minute-to-minute awareness of where we are during surgeries."
Methodist Hospitals remains committed to offering patients cutting-edge technologies backed by the expertise of an exceptional staff. The addition of the Multi-Specialty Navigational Operating Room Suite underscores Methodist's position as a regional leader in delivering quality healthcare.