GE and Virginia University to develop minimally invasive surgery techniques

4 August 2004

Waukesha, Wis., USA. GE Healthcare has signed an agreement with the University of Virginia Health System (UVa) to develop new, minimally invasive surgery techniques for the brain and spine. Using GE Healthcare's surgical navigation tools, the InstaTrak(R) 3500 Plus and OEC(R) 9800 Plus, doctors at UVa will research less invasive methods of therapeutic and surgical intervention.

GE Healthcare and the University of Virginia plan to expand the research partnership ultimately to new non-invasive techniques such as image-guided focused ultrasound techniques.

"This research agreement is the beginning of an important relationship between the University of Virginia and GE Healthcare. The results of this study will enhance surgical technologies and deliver new, less invasive technologies that will improve physician efficiency and patient care," said Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare.

"This continued research agreement will allow us to improve interoperative visualization, or our ability to see tumours in the brain and spine more precisely. As surgery becomes less invasive, surgeons have less visual contact with a patient's anatomy," said Neal Kassell, professor and co-chair of neurosurgery at the University of Virginia. "Ultimately, our partnership with GE will enable us to utilize imaging technology, to better visualize the area where we are operating."

The InstaTrak 3500 Plus provides surgeons with three-dimensional visualization of a patient's anatomy, along with the ability to track the position of instrumentation during surgery. GE Healthcare's OEC 9800 Plus, a digital mobile imaging system with a fully motorized C-arm, allows surgeons flexibility for exceptional visual detail and navigation in spinal surgery.

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