Vadnais Heights Surgery Center Adds Advanced Surgical Imaging Technology

Summit is dedicated to treating patients with the most advanced surgical tools available. We are pleased to announce the addition of a state-of-the-art Medtronic O-arm® Surgical Imaging System to augment the comprehensive surgical care we provide at our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center.

“Surgical imaging provides our view of the surgical field as we maneuver and place instruments during spine procedures,” explains Summit Orthopedics spine surgeon Dr. Nicholas Wills. “Accurate placement is critical to the quality of surgical outcomes. At Summit, we are always following emerging options to identify advances that will help us to make excellent outcomes even better. The Medtronic O-arm® Surgical Imaging System is state-of-the-art technology for optimal precision during spine surgery and other orthopedic procedures. Having this system improves the quality of surgical care by providing the best visual guidance available to our surgeons.”

Medtronic’s imaging system is designed with a doughnut-shaped arm that is able to provide multidimensional images of the patient’s anatomy in real time during surgery and track instrumentation with a navigational component similar to a car’s GPS. This combination of features provides the surgeon with a large field of view in two and three dimensions, distortion-free images, and the ability to precisely position surgical instruments to avoid vulnerable areas of the spine.

“During a spine surgery,” explains Summit Orthopedics spine surgeon Dr. Edward R. Santos, “I can see a three-dimensional image of the patient’s spine projected on a screen, as well as two-dimensional cross sections if I need a different view as I perform a procedure. Even when I am doing minimally invasive surgery and working through very small incisions with limited visibility, this technology allows me to see exactly where I am as I place pedicle screws, work with implants, or perform other delicate, complex procedures.”

This new imaging system provides patients with a number of surgical advantages:

  • The advanced three-dimensional imaging enables surgeons to use minimally invasive surgical techniques that cause less tissue trauma to the patient.
  • Precise imaging increases surgical accuracy during procedures.
  • O-arm imaging uses a navigation system that decreases radiation exposure for surgeons, staff, and patients, compared to standard 2-D fluoroscopy.
  • Because this imaging supports less invasive techniques and can be used in a surgery center, patients benefit from a lower risk of infection.
  • Patient recovery is faster with less pain and fewer complications during and following surgery.

Although the new imaging system is typically used to guide spine surgeries, it can also be used to guide other types of orthopedic surgery. “Surgical technologies and techniques are constantly evolving and being optimized,” observes Summit Orthopedics surgeon Dr. David Strothman. “A part of our job is to evaluate new surgical tools as they emerge, and incorporate advances like Medtronic’s O-arm Surgical Imaging System into our practice when it has been proved to safely improve outcomes for our patients.”

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  • Nicholas Wills, M.D.

    “I understand the concern of athletes to get back to their sport and working in combination with our therapists helps them there.”

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  • Edward Santos, M.D.

    “I am committed to providing the best care possible for all of my patients with spine disorders. I treat each and every patient as I would treat any member of my family. I believe that patients’ concerns and expectations deserve to be heard. I also believe in the importance of having a thorough discussion of both surgical and nonsurgical options, with the goal of relieving pain and restoring function.”

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  • David H. Strothman, M.D.

    “Spinal disorders are complex and disabling. As your surgeon I will explain your diagnosis and treatment options, both operative and non-operative, in a way that you can understand thereby allowing you to make informed decisions. I am rewarded daily by improving the quality of life of patients receiving my care.”

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