Visualisation Technology Improves Patient Outcomes

Aug 15, 2017

St George Private Hospital in Kogarah is the first private hospital in Australia to offer PINPOINT Imaging Technology which enables surgeons to go beyond the visual boundaries of the human eye during cancer surgery leading to overall improved outcomes for patients with uterine or cervical cancer.

The new NOVADAQ PINPOINT Endoscopic Fluorescence Imaging system provides the latest in high definition imaging, resulting in brighter and clearer inter-operative images enabling surgeons to visualise the quality of perfusion in the tissue affected by the disease.

It works by the fluorescent imaging agent, which is injected into the cervix under general anaesthetic, binding to protein in the blood providing surgeons with the ability to visualise blood flow in vessels, see tissue and organ perfusions, lymphatics and perfusions associated with cancerous tumours.

Study results of 227 patients found a 95% overall detection rate of sentinel lymph nodes for uterine and cervical malignancies during keyhole surgery, using indocyanine green and infrared fluorescent imaging (Jewell et al, Journal of Gynecological Oncology, 2014). Surgeons can make realtime critical decisions, reducing the chance of expensive complications occurring.

St George Private Hospital was delighted was the first private facility in Australia to offer the technology and Gynae-Oncologist Dr Gregory Robertson was the first specialist to utilise this technology.

“This imaging system provides the ability to detect the overall spread of the cancer to the lymph glands where the risk at times may be seen as low. It provides a more accurate tissue diagnosis and therefore allows us to better refine the management plan for these cancer patients,” said Dr Robertson.

“Having access to this sort of technology is critical to patient outcomes. Because we have the sentinel lymph glands to demonstrate whether the cancer has spread the management plan can be adjusted accordingly. This also avoids the risk of developing swelling of the legs (lymphoedema) which can be a debilitating lifelong result of taking all the pelvic lymph glands.”

Around 40 gynaecological surgical cases in NSW have utilised this system and it has been demonstrated as beneficial for a variety of other surgical applications including colon resections and laparoscopic esophagostomies and cholecystectomies.