New piece of equipment helping surgeons at St George Hospital

New toy: St George Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Mark Davies next to the portable O-Arm multidimensional surgical imaging system. Picture: Supplied
New toy: St George Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Mark Davies next to the portable O-Arm multidimensional surgical imaging system. Picture: Supplied

Surgeons at St George Hospital have been making the most of a new piece of equipment referred to as an O-Arm.

The piece of equipment is valued at over $1 million and has been put to use at the hospital this year.

St George Private Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the country to introduce the technology and St George Hospital, located just down the road in Kogarah, has now followed suit.

Spinal patients are among those who have particularly benefitted from the O-Arm multidimensional surgical imaging system.

The O-Arm is like a portable CT scan which can be wheeled into an operation theatre.

It completes a 360-degree scan and is able to provide a 3D image of a patient during and after surgery with low radiation exposure, meaning medical staff can remain in the same room. 

This means a surgeon can get information quickly about a patient. Previously this information was only available with a CT scan outside of the operating theatre. 

It can also be used with specialised navigation equipment to provide GPS-like guidance in real time, during operations such as high-risk spinal surgery.

In the past, surgeons would have taken as many images as possible prior to surgery to plan an operation. This new technology gives surgeons more accurate imaging and guidance during the actual procedure.

Demand to reduce the invasive nature of surgery has resulted in the increased role of advanced navigation systems, the hospital said.

St George Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Mark Davies said: “As a level one trauma centre in Sydney, it’s really significant that St George Hospital now has the O-Arm and we are already seeing the benefits.”