We talk about “real time” surgical navigation systems at the Symposium on Advanced Navigation in spinal surgery just concluded at Humanitas Neuro Center directed by Dr. Maurizio Fornari. The symposium was an opportunity for some of the world’s leading experts to discuss the most innovative technologies for the surgical treatment of degenerative diseases of the spine, bone marrow and intramedullary tumors that affect at any age, as well as confirming the close collaboration between Humanitas Neuro Center and Burdenko National Center for Neurosurgery in Moscow, one of the most important centers of neurosurgery in the world with more than 9,000 operations per year.

Dr. Maurizio Fornari, Prof. Franco Servadei and Mehmet Zileli received from Dr. Nikolay Aleksandrovich Konovalov, Director of the Neurosurgery Department of the Burdenko National Center, a special award from the Russian Academy of Sciences for the 90th anniversary of Feodor Serninenko’s invention of the endovascular balloon that revolutionized neurosurgery.

What is meant by navigation in spinal surgery?

“To understand navigation in surgery just think of the GPS navigation systems that we use to drive the car – says Dr. Nikolay Aleksandrovich Konovalov. – If the car navigator can lead us to our destination even if the maps are not up to date, in spinal surgery you need maps updated in real time on the anatomy and pathology of the patient. This is possible thanks to real time surgical navigation and metabolic navigation systems that, thanks to a special substance administered to the patient before surgery, illuminate the tumor tissues and allow the surgeon to see and eliminate them completely, minimizing the chances of “going the wrong way” or remove healthy tissue.

What are the benefits for the patient?

It took years of experience to develop these advanced navigation systems for spinal surgery – continues the director of the Burdenko National Center for Neurosurgery in Moscow – but today we are able to achieve maximum precision even in the insertion of implants, for example, avoiding the risk of spinal cord compression and peripheral nerves, and therefore neurological complications such as muscle weakness, motor and sensory deficits, tingling and back pain. This – concludes Dr. Konovalov – has also allowed to minimize the need to reoperate the patient in case the tumor has not been removed completely, as well as allowing you to get directly to the problem without damaging muscles or nerves, and thus promote a faster recovery of the patient.