AR Meets OR

New Technology Gives Doctors X-Ray Vision During Surgery

Published online: Oct 08, 2021 Articles, East Idaho Health Brian Zeil
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Surgeons at Mountain View Hospital are the first in Idaho to use augmented reality technology for complex spinal surgeries. Augmedics’ xvision Spine System allows surgeons to visualize a patient’s spinal anatomy during surgery by projecting high-resolution radiographic images into a headset. The 3D images show detailed anatomy and doctors can overlap that with what they actually see during surgery. This helps give surgeons more precision in the operating room and improves patient safety. 

“This technology allows me to look at my patients during surgery and see what is happening beneath the skin. It makes me feel like I have x-ray vision,” said Dr. Lynn Stromberg of Western Spine Institute. “Being able to see all of the scans we’ve taken before surgery, while I am looking directly at my patients’ spines helps me be even more precise. With the xvision system,

I maintain full control and am not reliant on a robot. This is a game changer for my patients and the future of surgery.” 

The first augmented reality assisted surgery was performed at Mountain View  Hospital at the end of 2020. It was on a partial spinal fusion. Since then, 30 surgeries have been performed using the xvision Spine System. There are currently three surgeons using augmented reality technology. 

“Using the xvision Spine System allows me to keep all of my focus on my patient during surgery, instead of having to look away at scans on a screen. Bringing augmented reality into our operating rooms will help us improve outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Mark Weight with Western Spine Institute. 

When doctors use xvision, it allows them to see exactly where surgical tools and implants should be placed according to the patient’s pre-surgery CT scans. This can help to reduce incision size and improve recovery times. Unlike other technology assisted surgeries, the xvision Spine System was designed to help surgeons keep their eyes on their patient instead of a screen. 

Augmedics’ xvision Spine System is the first FDA-approved use of augmented reality in surgery.  


Brian Ziel is the Marketing Director for Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls.

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