Surgery has had a long and fascinating evolution throughout human history. This field of medicine has culminated in the inclusion of many different forms of technology to ensure that today’s approach to these complex procedures is as safe and effective as possible. There have been many innovations in the past fifty years in this field, but it’s image-guided surgery systems that is the newest and among the most significant. Visit 7D Surgical to understand how it works.
To understand just how important this latest innovation in surgery is, we must look at the past of this miraculous field of medicine. Our modern ideas of surgery would imply that it is a fairly new idea involving sterilized instruments and operating theatres, but surgery actually goes all the way back to the stone age! That’s right, our simple ancestors were not as simple as you think they were.
It was the discovery of the needle that skyrocketed those peoples into basic surgeries thousands of years ago. It was the needle that allowed stone age civilizations to suture wounds, but they did more complex surgeries than that, including the setting of broken bones, cauterizing wounds, and trepanation. What’s trepanation? It’s the act of drilling a hole into a person’s skull. Our ancient ancestors actually conducted surgeries to relieve pressure on the brain!
Now, keep in mind that these surgeries were performed without any real kind of sterilization and that these were primitive procedures conducted a long time ago with what would have been a high mortality rate, but they were done, nonetheless.
Through antiquity, these surgeries continued, although a certain amount of superstition was blended into the practice. Surgery continued to grow and change over the next centuries and into the Middle Ages. It’s here that the first, and most common surgeons, came about. Were they great philosophers? Were they experts in herbal medicine? Actually, they were barbers.
Yes, that’s right. The first modern surgeons were called barber-surgeons. They were the people to go to for a haircut, yes, but their knowledge of the proper use of scissors and knives was what lent them the basic knowledge to take a step forward into the fields of dentistry and surgery. There you could get a haircut, have a bad tooth pulled, and have an arm amputated all in the same place!
The Renaissance was what saw some major advances in the field of surgery. It was actually a famous artist who drew some of the first sketches of human anatomy: Leonardo da Vinci. This artist, still renowned today for his works needed to know more about human anatomy so that his sculptures and paintings would be more realistic. He and a man named Andreas Vesalius advanced surgery a great deal.
The days of amputations without anesthetic or sterilization near bloody battlefields came to close in the nineteenth century with the introduction of those very same processes. Anesthetics and proper sterilization became the greatest innovations of the nineteenth century. These new ways of conducting surgery modernized procedures for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It raised the success rate of surgeries enormously and allowed surgery to become a safe and widely accepted practice for treating major injuries.
These approaches to surgery continued on throughout the last hundred years, with the addition of major additions to the field. This has included transplants, replacement surgeries, and the laser.
With all of these tools at a surgeon’s disposal, what could possibly add to surgery in the modern world? It is digital technology that has allowed the use of image-guided surgery systems. These modern-day innovations have revolutionized surgery to allow complex surgeries to be done far more accurately. In some cases, this has allowed surgeons to conduct surgery from a different room or even a different country!
So, what is image-guided surgery, anyway? It does sound like a complex term that only someone with a degree in medicine would understand, but it can be explained easier than you think
We all want to get somewhere, sometime and we choose to do so by looking up a map on our phone. That map was created from satellite data. When it comes to our car telling us how to get somewhere, it’s using GPS to tell us how to get there. Image-guided surgery systems work in the same kind of way. These systems use electromagnetic fields and cameras to map out an area that a surgeon is working on and then through the same use of technologies, tells the surgeon exactly where he is by way of monitors in the operating room.
It’s by doing surgery this way that allows a precision that has never been seen before in surgery and that is important for successful procedures to be accomplished. That’s what makes this one of the most important innovations in the field of surgery for the twenty-first century!