3D-navigation helps surgeon reach tumors that are hard to operate on
A team of physicians, surgeons, and technicians at the Netherlands Cancer Institute has developed a special 3D navigation technique. This navigation can be used during surgery to determine the exact location of the tumor, allowing the surgeon to find tumors that are hard to trace - because they are small, or because they are surrounded by vital blood vessels - with increased precision. All available imaging techniques, MRI and CT PET, are used in the navigation system to create a patient-specific 3D roadmap. The surgeon can view detailed images in red, blue, and yellow, indicating arteries, veins, and the urinary system, and green for the tumor itself. Using a special surgical navigation instrument, the surgeon can see exactly where they are operating on in the body, and what the best route to the tumor will be. Tumors that are in the proximity of vital blood vessels can be removed with a decreased risk of damaging the surrounding tissue. The surgeon can use the new insights to make better choices, making the surgical technique more efficient. The technology is currently used in surgery of the lower abdomen, such as rectal tumors, lymph node metastases near the rectum, and liver and prostate tumors.