What is Fluorescence Guided Surgery?
Fluorescence Guided Surgery, as its name suggests, is a medical imaging technique that helps surgeons view and identify blood flow and anatomical structures during a surgical procedure. This information provides a surgeon with guidance that was not available in the past, thus making surgeries safer and more predictable.
How do structures fluoresce or glow?
Fluorescence Guided Surgery typically involves two components that allows structures to glow in your body. These include an FDA approved dye that fluoresces or glows under a specific wavelength of light invisible to the human eye and a camera that can see this fluorescence and present it to the surgeon on a monitor in the operating room. When anatomical structures fluoresce or glow, the surgeon can see blood flow and anatomy clearly and precisely. This information helps the surgeon make important decision during the surgical procedure.
Why should I consider Fluorescence Guided Surgery?
Surgeons are trained to make decisions during surgery based on what they can see and what they can feel with their hands. Fluorescence illuminate’s anatomy and blood flow in a spectrum of light that is invisible to the naked eye. Another major advantage is that this information is available to the surgeon in real time, during the operation. Studies have shown that surgeon often change their surgical plan during an operation based on this real time information. In addition, FGS allows the surgeon to see structures and blood vessels that are under other tissues and would otherwise be invisible or difficult to see completely.
Why do some surgeons call it the GPS of surgery?
A paper map is a depiction of terrain and roads produced at a specific point in time. Sometimes the map doesn’t reflect current conditions because things have changed. In medical school surgeons study anatomy in medical textbooks but not all people have anatomy that is the same as a textbook. The ability of fluorescence guided surgery to guide decisions in real time during surgery has led many surgeons to call this advancement The GPS of surgery.
What are the advantages of Fluorescence Guided Surgery?
There are many advantages to this type of approach including:
- It offers multiple benefits for the surgeon–Fluorescence imaging during a surgical procedure offers multiple benefits to the surgeon and ultimately you the patient. Compared with standard unaided vision using white light imaging, real-time fluorescence imaging is helpful in identifying blood vessels and critical anatomy.
- It has wide applicability to help improve patient safety– Fluorescence imaging can be used across a full spectrum of surgeries including more commonly performed procedures, such as gallbladder removal, colon surgeries, and breast surgeries.
- Potentially improved surgical outcomes– Studies have shown that FGS is associated with a lower occurrence of surgical complications, reduced adverse events, reduction of re-interventions (i.e. additional surgeries), all of which have positive impact on your recovery time after surgery.