GE enhances EM surgical navigation systems

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GE Healthcare this week released new software and instrumentation for is InstaTrak 3500 Plus and EnTrak Plus electromagnetic (EM) surgical navigation systems designed specifically for minimally invasive cranial, spine and ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgical procedures.

The new software provides surgeons the capability to view a three-dimensional map of the patient to track the exact position of instruments, analogous to a global positioning system used in a car to track location, according to GE.

The new software also enhances the system's ENT application with computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging fusion for skull-base and sinus surgeries. It also adds AccuMatch Markerless Registration to the two surgical systems, eliminating the need to shave the patient's head before surgery.

GE highlighted the EM technology used by the InstaTrak 3500 Plus and EnTrak Plus to locate surgical instruments. Conventional systems typically use optical technology to locate surgical instruments in 3D space. The EM field can pass through objects while optical-based systems require a clear optical path to locate the surgical instruments.

Software capabilities added specifically for neurosurgery include: CT and MR fusion, adjustable extended trajectory (AET) with look-ahead, cortical mapping and freeze trajectory. Along with the new software, GE said it is releasing a Biopsy Guide system for cranial biopsies and a Shunt Guide for ventricular catheter placement in the brain.