Montreal surgeons use augmented reality in N. American first
Published Sunday, June 4, 2017 11:37AM EDT
A new, high-tech augmented reality surgery system has made its North American debut at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal.
The German-made SCOPIS technology is essentially a navigational system for endoscopic sinus surgery, allowing surgeons to guide their instruments through a virtual corridor in a patient’s sinus cavity in order to avoid delicate areas like the optic nerve and carotid artery.
“These, of course, are critical structures that we want to make sure we don’t injure during sinus surgery,” Dr. Marc Tewfik, MUHC’s director of rhinology, told CTV Montreal. “This will give us a little bit more confidence in doing those surgeries and doing them a little bit quicker.”
MUHC has been using the technology since March. Tewfik likens it to a state-of-the-art GPS.
“The new system’s a bit like a head-up display on the windshield of a car,” he said.
SCOPIS has drawn doctors from around the world to Montreal to train on the system.
“It’s actually very user-friendly, intuitive and it makes it so easy to adopt it,” Dr. Joe Tze Choong Carn, a Singaporean surgeon who is in Montreal for a year-long training program, said.
As for patients, the new equipment at MUHC gives them additional confidence.
Chantay Rose has already undergone facial surgery after a skiing accident a year-and-a-half ago. Now, she needs another operation to repair a torn tear duct -- an operation that will make use of SCOPIS.
“It’s going to give them direction, where not to go, where to go and the perfect path to get through my nose and to the tear duct,” she said.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Derek Conlon