First-Ever Globally VR Spinal Surgery Performed At Shaare Zedek

For the first time in the world, a unique spinal surgery using virtual reality was performed at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

A 25-year-old man who had sustained a spinal injury arrived at Shaare Zedek, where he underwent surgery employing advanced robotics and virtual reality. Dr. Nevo Margalit, the Director of the Neurosurgery Department, stated, “We ensure that we remain at the forefront of existing technologies in Israel and around the world, as well as those that are yet to be developed.”

The 25-year-old patient was admitted to the emergency room at Shaare Zedek following a work accident that caused him to fall from a height. In the Trauma Unit, an unstable spinal fracture was diagnosed, immediately placing him at risk of paralysis and other neurological injuries. Urgent treatment was administered by Dr. Cezar Mizrahi from the Spine Surgery Unit and the Neurosurgery Department.

Dr. Mizrahi determined that the complex surgery should utilize cutting-edge technological methods to enable three-dimensional visualization of the fractured spine’s structure. The surgical procedure involved the use of a robotic system to insert fixation screws into the spine, along with the application of virtual reality to demonstrate the fracture and ensure the precision of the surgical instruments.

Dr. Mizrahi explained, “The combination of advanced robotics and virtual reality, coupled with a minimally invasive approach, has never been employed in a surgery of this nature anywhere in the world. The experience of performing surgery with virtual reality glasses is akin to the display in a fighter plane, presenting all the necessary data during the operation. Through the glasses, I can gaze to the right and observe the patient’s CT scan projected onto the patient, look to the left and see the exact path of the screws I had planned before the surgery, glance downwards to view the surgical field magnified significantly, and more. This experience empowers me to execute the surgery precisely according to my preoperative plan, with the ability to make alterations if needed during the surgery itself.”

Dr. Nevo Margalit, emphasized, “It’s imperative for us to advance the possibilities available to our patients every day, encompassing the technologies we offer. We ensure that we remain at the forefront of both current and yet-to-be-developed technologies in Israel and across the globe.”

Dr. Yair Barzilay, the Director of the Spinal Surgery Unit, added, “The Spinal Unit at Shaare Zedek stands at the forefront of technology. Our close collaboration with the industry, as partners in technological advancements, is evident in this instance, as it was previously during the introduction of other robotic technologies. We are delighted to witness the positive outcome of Dr. Mizrahi’s skillfully conducted surgery on a patient with an unstable spinal fracture, who, without intervention, could have experienced nerve damage.”

Following the surgery, the patient’s condition improved significantly. After a few days, he was transferred to the Neurosurgery Department and is now able to walk without assistance. He is scheduled to be discharged in the next few days.

Our Hospital With A Heart is proud to be a leading innovator and being part of ground-breaking medical advancements such as this! It’s with your support that we can continue saving, delivering, and changing lives.

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