An Omani medical team from the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) Hospital in Al Khoudh met with success in using Augmented Reality (AR) technique to conduct a spinal fixation surgery on a 52-year-old patient.
The team was led by Colonel Dr. Ahmed Saif Al Jahwari, Senior Consultant, Head of Orthopedic Department at SAF Hospital, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
Speaking about this accomplishment, Col. Dr. Ahmed Al Jahwari said: “Advanced techniques are entering the medical healthcare field in the world at a fast pace. They present precise solutions in surgical operations, thereby improving human intervention in assisting patients. They pave the way for the success of surgical operations. Accordingly, the Orthopedic Surgery Department at SAF Hospital took keen interest in assimilating such techniques in serving patients in a variety of ways, including disc fusion using augmented reality.”
Colonel Dr. Ahmed Al Jahwari further explained that the recent surgery conducted by the SAF medical team combines low-dose CT scan and 3D imaging with fixed camera imaging. This, he added, creates a 3D augmented reality view of the patient's internal anatomy. The combined image is like an exploration device that guides the surgeon in fixing the vertebrae with surgical screws in a precise location, thereby reducing the chance of injury to nearby sensitive tissues such as nerves and blood vessels.
He noted that this approach leads to increased clinical accuracy that enables the surgeon to be 100% sure of placing the surgical instruments in their ideal location before the end of the operation. This also helps the doctor to avoid surgical risks and reduce the probability of medical error, pain and blood loss.
“Augmented Reality technology focuses on what is happening right in front of the surgeon’s eye and gives surgeons direct x-ray view of anatomical areas that are not visible to the naked eye. This new technology sets the stage for successful surgeries and constitutes one of the main pillars of surgical medicine,” said Colonel Dr. Ahmed Al Jahwari.
The SAF Medical Services Department has made many accomplishments, and the recent surgery indicates that the SAF is on the right track as it keeps pace with technological and scientific progress in its endeavors to provide the best health healthcare to personnel of the SAF and other departments of the Ministry of Defense, as well as the general public.