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New Monitoring Systems Protect Organs During Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Nov 2020
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Image: The NIM Vital system monitors nerves during surgery (Photo courtesy of Medtronic)
Image: The NIM Vital system monitors nerves during surgery (Photo courtesy of Medtronic)
A new intraoperative nerve monitoring (IONM) system and a novel parathyroid probe help reduce the risk of tissue damage during head and neck surgery.

The Medtronic (Dublin, Ireland) NIM Vital system enables surgeons to locate and identify nerves, monitor and control manipulation effects, and confirm integrity prior to completing a procedure, with a large touch-screen and streamlined interface providing an intuitive, guided workflow with enhanced visualization. Electromyographic (EMG) electrodes monitor the muscles innervated by the affected nerve, when a particular nerve has been activated or stimulated, the system provides both visual alerts and audio feedback to minimize trauma to the nerve.

Surgeons can use monopolar and bipolar stimulating probes and dissection instruments with the NIM nerve monitoring system to locate, identify, and map the particular nerve and branches, as well as verify nerve function and integrity. The proprietary technology provides real-time feedback on nerve function during intermittent or continuous monitoring, helping to base an informed surgical strategy, increase operative efficiency and precision, and protect the patients' quality of life.

The PTeye parathyroid detection system is a probe-based device designed to help confirm parathyroid tissue identified visually by the physician during thyroid surgery. During such procedures, it is important for surgeons to identify and preserve parathyroid tissue so that it is not inadvertently removed, which may result in low calcium levels (hypocalcemia), a condition that can result in numbness in the fingers and toes, muscle cramps in legs and feet, irritability, and seizures.

“The addition of these two technologies builds on our 20-year legacy of providing innovative solutions that assist surgeons during critical head and neck procedures,” said Vince Racano, vice president and general manager of ENT at Medtronic. “By offering these complementary technologies, the NIM Vital system to protect crucial nerves and the PTeye system to help confirm parathyroid tissue identified visually by the surgeon, we're helping physicians address two of the most common challenges during these procedures.”

“Protecting critical structures during surgery has evolved to an extensive system that brings crucial information to the surgeon's hands and eyes,” said professor of otolaryngology Gregory Randolph, MD, of Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Boston, MA, USA). “There are things we can't do with our eyes and our hands. Both the NIM Vital and PTeye systems empower surgeons to improve their procedures, and Medtronic continues to provide these types of important operative solutions.”

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