Among the most remarkable advances, the development of digital imaging has led to many advances in the diagnosis and monitoring of tumors. It is based on the magnetic qualities of one of the constituents of the human body: the hydrogen proton. Thus, functional MRI, also called “dynamic imaging”, allows to follow in real time a tracer injected into the body to detect any anomalies. In terms of treatment, patients can benefit, for example, from a digital imaging assisted surgery, which is thinner and less invasive. To this is added the scintigraphy, allowing to follow, in the body, a special product, generally based on iodine low radioactive (without danger to health), which emits gamma rays and binds to the bones. This technique is used to know how far cancer, particularly breast or prostate cancer, extends and to monitor its progress.
A remarkable and revolutionary advance is also identified in neurosurgery. This is spinal navigation. Indeed, spinal neuronavigation can visualize in 3D, in real time, the spine during surgery. The system has been used by the neurosurgeon for a long time for brain surgery because it is essential to avoid functional areas, in order to reduce the rate of postoperative sequelae. Thus, neuronavigation allows the neurosurgeon to identify more precisely the sensitive areas and causing him to double caution not to touch them. As for spine surgery, this is a real revolution because, in combination with the O-ARM imaging platform, we have both imaging at each stage, instrument guidance and even to operate without necessarily opening the back by large incisions.
Surgical technique of Philipp Bonhoeffer
As for cardiovascular surgery, Philipp Bonhoeffer’s research has led to the development of a new technique to replace the myal valve without the need for major surgery. It is a concept that is based on the fact that the heart valve, stitched inside a stent, could reduce in size by curling it on a balloon catheter, and then introduced through a peripheral vessel to the desired implantation site in the heart. Inflation of the balloon deploys valve stent and anchor into the old dysfunctional valve. This technique brought by Philipp Bonhoeffer has revolutionized cardiovascular surgery, especially for patients with pathologies requiring this kind of intervention. Moreover, this technique is significantly less expensive, therefore accessible to the general public, but it is also less burdensome as it no longer requires a percutaneous vascular approach. Over the past 9 years, this simple technique has shown a marked learning curve with improvements in safety and efficacy that have led to the successful global clinical use of this procedure in over 1,500 implants in the lung position and thousands of implants in the aortic position.