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Memorial Invests in Latest O-Arm Technology

O-ArmPrecision. It’s what you want when a surgeon is placing an instrument in your spine or your brain, right?

Memorial Hospital, now part of University of Colorado Health, is using the latest generation of technology to ensure the highest quality of care during sensitive surgeries.


For physicians like neurosurgeon Dr. Todd Thompson, having crystal-clear, real-time images during spine surgery allows for potential greater accuracy and improved patient care.


During surgery, while a patient is lying on the table, an O-shaped ring surrounds the body and provides precise images to the doctor. In the past, physicians have had to rely on older technology that takes longer to produce images and exposes patients to more radiation.


"It takes the same amount of radiation each second to acquire the picture, but the machine acquires the picture faster than the older machines. With the O-Arm, the image is quickly uploaded to the computer in seconds. In older models, there is a registration process and it could take anywhere from five minutes to 15 minutes to complete the process With the O-arm, everything happens in seconds," Dr. Thompson said.


For patients, that means real health benefits, including:

  • Less time in the operating room
  • Less time under anesthesia
  • Less testing after surgery
  • Smaller incisions
"The longer a patient spends in the operating room, the greater the risk there is for infection and other potential complications," Dr. Thompson said.

Dr. Thompson said the O-Arm can be used for brain procedures as well as cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine operations. In the brain, tumor resections can be guided by the computer.


"Because it is so easy to use, we would likely use it at the end of the case to confirm what we have done, as opposed to sending the patient to the CT-scanner latter that day or another day," Dr. Thompson said. "It allows us to verify results while we’re in the operating room, and that ensures more quality for patients."


Colette Martin, director of business development for Memorial Hospital, said the decision to purchase the O-Arm was driven by the need to provide highest quality health care.


"It benefits patients, plain and simple," Martin said.