Image Guided / Computer Assisted Surgery

Sinus anatomy varies greatly between patients, and like fingerprints no two sinuses are the same, creating a challenge for sinus surgeons. Sinus disease, previous surgery, and scar tissue further distort sinus anatomy, making surgery even more difficult. To address these challenges, biomedical engineers have developed image guided computer technology to help surgeons navigate complex sinus anatomy, thus increasing safety.

The technology resembles a miniature global positioning system (GPS), like that used in a car: Satellites orbiting the Earth communicate with a GPS unit and a map to pinpoint your location. In surgery, sensors are positioned in the operating room to communicate with a computer containing a CT scan of a patient’s sinuses and link this to a surgical probe to identify precisely where the surgeon is operating.

Although the computer technology has improved safety and reduced complications in surgery, there are limits. The location of the surgical probe is an approximation based on complex mathematical calculations, and computer systems don’t work perfectly all the time. Therefore, having an extremely well trained, experienced surgeon, with extensive knowledge of sinus anatomy is the most important factor to reduce risks and complications.

Dr. Naseri has considerable expertise due to his advanced fellowship training and years of experience performing difficult sinus surgeries. He has extensive experience with image guided surgery. Dr. Bolger was trained before image guided surgery was invented and devoted considerable time studying sinus anatomy to determine surgical strategies for challenging cases. He performed hundreds of anatomic dissections in the anatomy laboratory focusing on how sinus structures appeared to surgeons through (then newly introduced) sinus endoscopes. He recognized and characterized human anatomic variations to facilitate safer sinus surgery and presented his findings to colleagues in lectures and medical publications. Over the past two decades, he has lectured widely throughout the US and abroad on this topic. This work has been widely accepted and used in sinus surgery to improve safety. Drs. Naseri and Bolger have significant experience using this technology and have advised manufacturers on ways to improve it for patients and surgeons.

Drs. Naseri and Bolger offer their expertise and experience to you, along with image guided / computer assisted surgery at the North Florida Sinus Center.

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