A hospital in our region is one of seven in the state to offer new technology for performing surgery.
In the operating room at UPMC Altoona, Dr. James Burke, a neurosurgeon with Allegheny Brain and Spine Surgery, now uses the O-arm, essentially a 3D navigation device hooked up to a CT scan.
It gives him instant 3D images of the patient on oversized flat screen monitors.
Dr. Burke says the O-arm shows where his instruments are in relation to bones, blood vessels and nerves---extremely important in vital areas like the spine and the brain.
He says "it's great technology for the more complex operations."
Dr Burke says surgeons at UPMC Altoona often use the O-arm for trauma cases and it can help doctors repair more common conditions like scoliosis or curvature of the spine.
According to Dr. Burke, the new technology allows surgeons to perform operations that patients previously had to leave the area for.