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Specialized Ultrasound System Enhances Surgeons’ Decision Making

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 14 Jun 2023
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Image: The bkActiv ultrasound system has been expanded to many more types of procedures in the OR (Photo courtesy of GE HealthCare)
Image: The bkActiv ultrasound system has been expanded to many more types of procedures in the OR (Photo courtesy of GE HealthCare)

Until recently, the standard procedure for excising cancerous tumors from kidneys without causing harm to these vital organs involved removing large sections or the entire kidney using open surgery. Currently, the routine procedure involves robotic partial nephrectomy, where cameras and robotic tools are used to remove specific kidney parts through miniature incisions in the abdomen. This approach allows surgeons to preserve as much kidney function as possible, reducing the likelihood of kidney failure or the need for lifelong dialysis treatments. The next wave in complex surgeries, like partial nephrectomy, is intraoperative imaging. This involves using surgical ultrasound and other technologies to visualize the inside of the patient's body during surgery, aiding surgeons in making incisions, positioning instruments, and confirming results.

The bkActiv ultrasound system from GE HealthCare (Chicago, IL, USA) is a highly favored technology in the operating room (OR), including for partial nephrectomies. GE has now extended the application of bkActiv to a wider range of OR procedures than ever before, incorporating urology, colorectal, and pelvic floor procedures. This technology provides clinicians with visual data, which guides them during procedures and assists in making informed, critical decisions. These insights are particularly beneficial in the emerging field of minimally invasive and robotic surgery, intended to minimize pain and trauma, lessen complications, and expedite patient discharge.

Conceived with surgeons and surgical procedures in mind, the bkActiv boasts an array of features well-adapted to the unique environment of the OR. The expanded use of bkActiv in more OR procedures will initially benefit the technology's most ardent users. Urologists, experts in treating diseases of the kidneys, prostate, and urinary tract, have been swift to adopt robotic surgery techniques and intraoperative imaging to assist with procedures like prostate biopsies. With this advancement, they can perform more of their work in the OR using the bkActiv system. This will allow them to utilize their preferred tool to do more in a single location, enhancing their capacity to provide superior patient care.

“By expanding the bkActiv system, we are giving physicians the tools they need to provide precise treatment with the ability to see fine details in image guidance, which ultimately may allow for better outcomes for people who require urology, colorectal, and pelvic floor procedures,” said Urvi Vyas, general manager of surgical visualization and guidance–ultrasound at GE HealthCare.

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