Functionality of Robotic Exoscope to Improve Neurosurgery: Richard Williamson, MD, FAANS


The neurosurgeon at Allegheny Health Network provided background on a new, state-of-the-art tool designed to ultimately improve neurosurgical procedures. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

There are nuances; how do we position the exoscope? So that it doesn’t get contaminated, and we can operate around it. How can we optimize some of the visual settings to maximize the light in the surgical field? There are different filters that we can apply, depending on the tissue that we’re operating on.

Over the years, robotics have become an even more integral part in easing the process of surgery. Robots are able to provide virtual data, superior spatial resolution and geometric accuracy, superior dexterity, faster maneuvering and non-fatigability with steady motion. In addition to implementing robotics to improve the lives of patients today, neurologist at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) are also training the next generation of surgeons to pursue, learn, and adopt robotic technologies as they advance in the field.

AHN was the first hospital in Pennsylvania to use the Synaptive Modus V, a digital surgical microscope with a robotic arm derived from the one previously used on the International Space Station to move astronauts, equipment, and cargo. The arm follows a neuro-navigation system that follows pre-surgery imaging and planning to ensure precision. The system also incorporates a high-powered camera, light sources, and a digital microscope that produces detailed optics for brain surgery.

Neurosurgeons at AHN, including Richard Williamson, MD, FAANS, have begun to incorporate a robotic exoscope as part of the surgical procedure in addition to the Synaptive Modus V. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Williamson provided insight on the functional use of this exoscope, how it differs from other robotic technology, and whether it can be easily applicable to surgery rooms across the country.

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