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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Allegheny General Hospital Introduces State-of-the-art Imaging System to Improve Spine Surgery

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) is the first hospital in Pittsburgh to use a leading-edge intra-operative imaging system to help surgeons performing spine procedures.

This month, AGH introduced the Medtronic O-ARM® Imaging System, a mobile, multidimensional surgical imaging platform that provides surgeons with clear, real-time images of the body, facilitating navigation through delicate anatomy and minimizing complications, pain and recovery time.

“By bringing the O-ARM to AGH®, we have demonstrated a commitment to investing in advanced technology that enables our team of skilled physicians to provide the highest quality surgical care in the Pittsburgh region,” said Jack Wilberger, MD, Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, West Penn Allegheny Health System.

By combining the best features of a traditional c-arm with an intra-operative 3D scanner, the O-ARM® system produces the high-resolution imaging needed to perform minimally invasive procedures and consistently improve patient outcomes.

With O-ARM® technology, CT scans take just seconds to complete and view in the operating room. The system can produce 750 images over 360 degrees in 25 seconds. Once the images are acquired, the O-ARM® system can reconstruct and project the data in less than 25 seconds.

“Real-time, high-quality images allow for easier decision-making and improved patient outcomes,” said J. Brad Bellotte, MD, Director of Complex Spine Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital, and the first neurosurgeon at AGH to perform surgery using the O-ARM®.

O-ARM® images assist surgeons in determining the appropriate sizing for hardware such as rods, screws and implantable bone and help surgeons place them precisely. A post-operative scan will allow the surgeon to review the work, prior to closing incisions. These accurate, on-site images, provide the surgeon with immediate confirmation that hardware has been ideally placed.

“Now we can be 100 percent certain before the patient leaves the operating table,” said Michael Oh, MD, another AGH neurosurgeon who has used the O-Arm®.

The system’s unique design makes it ideal for use in trauma case and spine work. In the future, the O-Arm may show promise in hip reconstruction, facial fractures or other cases involving multiple fractures.

The O-Arm® at AGH is one of 150 units currently in operation at hospitals and surgery centers across the United States.

Allegheny General Hospital is designated as a Spine Center of Excellence based on a recent independent study of neurosurgical capabilities and patient care quality at medical centers around the country.



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