It's not exactly like cutting along the dotted line, but it's very close.
Since the beginning of the year, surgeons at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center have been using a new, advanced tool that - in essence - helps light the way when doing certain procedures.
It's an endoscopic fluorescence imager called Pinpoint and developed by Stryker Corporation. When paired with accompanying devices, it provides an extremely clear picture of an internal organ - in this case removal of a gall bladder from 30 year old Randi Taylor of Sublette, IL.
The laparoscopic procedure begins with the patient being injected with a fluorescent dye.
"Once it's absorbed by the body, the liver concentrates and excretes it as if it's bile, in this case," says Dr. Eric Kivisto, General Surgeon at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center. "So, any structure that would have bile in it will fluoresce when you use the fluorescent scope."
Traditionally, surgeons rely solely on their clinical judgement whether tissue is receiving adequate blood flow. Pinpoint provides the surgeon the ability to visualize blood flow during a procedure allowing for quicker and more accurate clinical decisions.
Through the number of surgeries Dr. Kivisto has performed using the device, he had found it to be more precise, faster and, overall, safer for the patient.
"It helps us identify anatomy with greater certainty, especially during laparoscopic cholecystectomy," says Dr. Eric Kivisto, General Surgeon at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center. "It has other utility too - for bowel resections and lymph node dissection, as well."
The Pinpoint system at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center is the only one of its kind in the region.