A surgeon’s most important surgical tools are not just her surgical instruments and hands, but also her eyes. Visualization of the surgical field is critical to the success of any surgical procedure. While minimally invasive surgery employs a magnified view of the surgical field, it is limited to what the naked eye can see. Until now…
Enter “FIREFLY” fluorescence imaging technology from Novadaq Imaging Systems, for the da Vinci Si surgical system. The FIREFLY system enables surgeons performing robotic surgery to benefit from fluorescence imaging, with initial use in applications ranging from urology to gynecology.
In essence, the FIREFLY system utilizes a harmless, non-radioactive fluorescent dye which targets areas of high blood flow in a patient. To see the dye, the surgeon illuminates the surgical field with a special infrared (IR) light source and uses IR camera system to see the glowing areas infused with the dye. These glowing area are invisible under normal light so without FIREFLY, a surgeon may overlook areas of concern in the patient. The result is a more precise visualization of the surgical fields and a potentially better outcome from the surgery.
In the field of gynecologic surgery, FIREFLY technology is particularly well-suited for use in the treatment of endometriosis. In endometriosis, there is an abnormal proliferation of smaller blood vessels that feed areas affected by endometriosis. The dye used in FIREFLY targets these affected areas of excessive blood flow, illuminating them with a green glow, giving the robotic surgeon a more defined view of the endometriosis during surgery. This technology, combined with the da Vinci robotic surgical system, is a major step forward in treating this painful and debilitating condition.
The FIREFLY system is fairly new and, as a result, has not yet found widespread use in gynecology or other surgical fields. Dr. Tam is one of the few surgeons in the greater Chicagoland area who has been trained in the use of this cutting edge technology and can now offer it to her patients at Presence Saint Francis Hospital, in Evanston, and at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.
If you suffer from endometriosis and would like more information on the FIREFLY system and how it may help you, please make an appointment to see Dr. Tam to discuss your condition.