Surgical Navigation Technology
Surgical navigation is a method to guide surgery using medical images as a guidance map. The goal of surgical navigation is to maximize the treatment effect of surgery while minimizing trauma to patients by avoiding damage to critical structures. The most common form of surgical navigation is image-guided surgical navigation, which is mainly used to perform open surgery in a minimally invasive fashion. An advanced form of surgical navigation uses image-directed robots as guides or even tools to perform operative maneuvers for an operating physician. The most recent form of surgical navigation is ablation and radiation therapy directed by image guidance, which evolved from surgical navigation using the available technology. The technologies that make surgical navigation possible include surgical planning, guidance workstations, tool tracking, and patient-to-image registration. All current methods of surgical navigation were made possible by the progress in computer and sensor technology in the last two decades. The future direction of surgical navigation may involve intraoperative imaging as well as simulation of treatment effects from intraoperative imaging.
KeywordsCatheter Attenuation Adapter