Precision Key to Neurosurgical Outcomes, Providers Say

November 11, 2020
O-Arm_Mercy_Neuro Pictured in front of Mercy’s Medtronics O-Arm is Mercy Northwest Arkansas’ neurosurgery team: Dr. Raj Nangunoori, nurse practitioner Kali Eddy; Dr. Alejandro Castellvi; and nurse practitioner Paula Stephens.

To a surgeon performing a spinal fusion or excising a tumor from the brain, precision is everything. The more information the doctor can gather in real time in the operating suite, the less time a patient spends under anesthesia and the better outcome for the patient.

Mercy neurosurgeons Alejandro Castellvi and Raj Nangunoori have been using precision imaging and navigation platforms for surgeries since training together in neurological surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh seven years ago. The platforms allow surgeons to take CT scans before, during and after surgery, helping them increase accuracy, whether placing spinal instrumentation or removing a brain tumor.

Mercy’s new Medtronics O-arm imaging and associated StealthStation are the most advanced navigation-assisted equipment available in Northwest Arkansas.

“Precision is the biggest part of using navigation assistance. We can place medical devices such as interbody grafts or pedicle screws involved in spinal fusion while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue,” Dr. Castellvi said.

The technology is used most often for spinal surgery but is also useful for cranial surgery. It can be used for elective procedures and in trauma.

The physicians have trained on several platforms that work in similar ways, so they are familiar with the benefits and limitations. Navigation assistance is ideal for a complex case because it increases accuracy while keeping the procedure as minimally invasive as possible.

The two surgeons’ experience working together during residency and fellowship means they have already developed the teamwork essential to a high-pressure practice. This technology just enhances that benefit, Dr. Nangunoori said.

“We have worked on many cases together, and Dr. Castellvi is a good technical surgeon and someone who I trust,” said Dr. Nangunoori. “Having surgeons who can work together in the operating room is good for patients, because it can decrease operating time and reduce complications.”

For more information on Medtronics’ O-arm click here and Medtronics’ StealthStation, click here.

To contact Mercy Clinic Neurosurgery - Physicians Plaza, call 479-338-3720.

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