Dr. Kim describes how surgical GPS works.
The GPS system in an operating room is actually much more simple than the GPS systems that we use in our car. If you think about it, just establish a GPS technology in someone’s car is a major undertaking. There’s actually a satellite in outer space.
In the operating room, it’s much more simple. We just simply have a camera that comes down from the ceiling. That camera is the satellite; it looks down on the patient; the patient has a little satellite tracking pin that the camera looks upon, and then we have various tools that have the probes that allow the camera to look at where it is in three-dimensional space.
So in terms of the technology, it is very simple compared to the ones that we have in our car, but it’s one that’s still in the operating room, with the way most surgeons think in a very traditional way, we’re very cautious about making too many big changes. This is a relatively big change, but in the overall scheme of things this technology is very straightforward, and if you were to see it with your own eyes, it looks very simple.
It’s a boom with a camera that looks down on a patient, and we have small reflective balls that the camera sees, and we place those in various parts of the body. We place them on our instruments and we just look at a very simple computer monitor, and that gives us an incredible amount of information that we didn’t have before.
About Dr. Kim, M.D.:
Dr. Choll Kim graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and completed his fellowship training in complex spine surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He is board certified by American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Dr. Kim is a nationally known expert in the modern field of computer-assisted minimally invasive spine surgery. He has trained specialists throughout the country on the safe and effective application of state-of-the-art techniques using image guidance and navigation technologies.