Gundersen Health System is one of only a handful of medical centers in the country with technology called an intraoperative CT, or iCT. Housed between two operating rooms in the Legacy Building, the iCT can be moved into either OR and provides surgeons with detailed images during surgery.
CT is a type of digital X-ray that records cross-sectional images of the body that show bones, muscles, organs and other tissue. CT has long been used for surgery to plan incisions, make safe paths and avoid important structures before ever making an incision. Prior to iCT, doctors had to rely on CT scans taken before surgery. But surgery changes the anatomy, affecting the accuracy of the navigation. The ideal situation is to have detailed navigation and real-time imaging right in the OR.
iCT uses sophisticated navigational software and a motion-sensing camera for image-guided surgery. Providing real-time images, the system shows the location of the surgical instruments in relation to the patient and helps guide the surgeon during surgery. The iCT moves over the patient on the operating table, scanning from head to tailbone, if needed, in about 30 seconds.
Movement disorders, spine surgery and beyond
iCT technology also enhances treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or essential tremors. It allows the surgeon to more safely place deep brain electrodes to help control these diseases. With iCT, placement can be checked right away to see if it works. If not, adjustments can be made.
With its navigation system, spinal surgery is another great application for iCT. The surgeon can operate on bone without injuring delicate nerves or blood vessels lying just millimeters away.
While it will be used for other surgeries, the iCT will be used most often in conjunction with sophisticated BrainLAB® technology that allows our neurosurgeons to perform highly complex brain and spine surgeries.