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Breakthrough 4K-3D Technology for Spine and Neurosurgery Patients

Guest Bio: Juan Jimenez, MD
Dr. Jimenez's training encompasses the treatment of patients with a broad range of neurological disorders including conventional and minimally invasive surgical techniques for brain and spinal disorders. His areas of interest are treatment of brain tumors, spinal reconstruction, minimally invasive spinal surgery, surgical outcomes research and international surgeon training. Dr. Jimenez is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Medical Association. Dr. Jimenez is bilingual in English and Spanish. Dr. Jimenez's office is located in Kankakee, IL. 

Learn more about Juan Jimenez, MD
    Breakthrough 4K-3D Technology for Spine and Neurosurgery Patients
    Dr. Juan Jimenez discusses the new technology for spine and neurosurgery patients.

    Introduction: Riverside Healthcare puts the health and wellness information you need. Well Within Reach.

    Alyssa Diaz: Hello listeners and thanks for tuning into the Well Within Reach podcast. I'm your host, Alyssa Diaz. And today we're going to learn about a new and exciting breakthrough technology being used right here at Riverside, from a key player who helped to make the whole thing happen. I'd like welcome Dr. Juan Jimenez. Dr. Jimenez, thanks for joining us on the podcast today.

    Dr. Jimenez: Thank you for having me. It's my honor.

    Host: And Dr. Jimenez is a Neurosurgeon and Medical Director of the Riverside Neurosciences Institute. And what's more is that he serves this community with passion. And so Doctor, could you tell us a little bit about your training and your expertise as a neurosurgeon?

    Dr. Jimenez: Oh, absolutely. Well, I had the good fortune to train here in Chicago land. I did my neurosurgical residency at Rush University in Chicago. And I think one of the advantages there was receiving training in minimally invasive neurosurgery. So that's, I think one of the distinctives of our practice that after completion of my residency, I was hired here at Riverside and I've been serving the community for the last 15 years. I have maintained my academic affiliation with Rush and it gives us a good liaison, a good partner to have for some cases that at times require the academic center. But we're able to treat locally in the community, the vast majority of the cases that we receive, both for cranial and spinal surgery, as well as peripheral nerve surgery.

    Host: And that's something really notable about the Riverside Neurosciences Institute is that we're always working to bring the best technology to the community so that our patients receive the best care possible. And that's something we're going to jump into with our topic today. And Riverside has brought a breakthrough 4K 3D technology for spine and neurosurgery patients right here to Riverside, and really it's life changing technology. It's the potential that this new technology can allow our neurosurgeons see complex areas of the spine and brain in much greater detail through minimally invasive procedures. So Dr. Jimenez, tell us about the Orbeye?

    Dr. Jimenez: Yeah. You know, this is a technology that we've been looking for and expecting this last year we did a trial last year and it's state of the art. You know, I'll give you the example or the evolution of the technology. Microscopes are loops. You look and you see things bigger than they are. And that's what I trained with at Brush and have been practicing here. However, the exescope brings it to a new level. And I like to use a simple analogy, a standard color TV versus high definition television. I mean, it's the crispness, the amount of detail. But the importance is that when we're operating, it's a three dimensional world. So the advent of not only higher resolution and higher magnification, but the 3D component. So, that brings you literally into the surgical field. The equipment has a large screen monitors.

    And as you mentioned, we do minimally invasive procedure through very, very small incisions no larger than a dime or a nickel. So that means that through those half an inch size ports, we are able to visualize the brain nerves and other structures. So being able to visualize these structures as much as 26 times the original size, totally revolutionizes how we do things. And it allows us to use microsurgical techniques and micro instruments to treat a whole host of pathologies that can affect the brain and the spinal cord. And the other very important aspect is I mentioned, I've been here 15 years, God willing, I'll be here another 15 or longer, but when we work with a microscope or loops, you are tethered to the device, which means that you must adjust your body to the position of the patient.

    And as you know, there's a lot of variability in the human anatomy, which means that we could be at an awkward or uncomfortable position for hours. I'll tell you, one of my surgeries here at Riverside took 17 hours. It was a very complex tumor and we do it because we're passionate. We love what we do. And more importantly, we'd like our patients to have excellent outcomes. But with this technology, having a large monitor with 3D visualization were able to maintain good ergonomics, good position, good spinal alignment that for the surgeon over time can have detrimental effects. And there's clear documentation of that, that awkward position or some of the equipment that we use can have a detrimental effect. So it's not only does it serve our patients better, but it helps the surgeons also.

    Host: Yeah. And I'd like to expand on that. I had the pleasure of joining you in your surgical suite a couple of weeks ago to document this new technology. And it was fascinating. As you enter the room, you see two 55 inch Sony flat screen televisions. Everybody's wearing these special glasses that help project those 3D images. And the technology is just incredible. And then, like you mentioned, seeing you in an upright position for a surgery that is so delicate and takes so much detail is very comforting to know that you as a surgeon are in your best ergonomic state to perform the operation.

    Dr. Jimenez: Yeah, yeah, no, it's revolutionary. It really is. And as far as the acquisition of the equipment, I'm very proud to report that we are the first institution in the State of Illinois that has acquired this technology. And you know, we have been in the forefront of neurosurgical care here in the community. And to be ahead of some of our academic centers, it really speaks to the investment of the community, of the organization, of our donors, everybody that's involved in the delivery of care here at Riverside Medical Center. Being aware of these technologies as important, and being involved in the development of these technologies is important. So to have a trial, to have our board members and alike experience and, and be informed of these new technologies that improve our patient outcomes, I think is very rewarding and very satisfying. And again, it speaks to the commitment of Riverside Medical Center to our community and the care of our patients.

    Host: Yes. And you keep speaking in this team approach, it really is a team approach. And to see that in the operating room and even in your clinic visits and things like that, our patients are receiving the best care from an expert team. And it's really something that I think sets us apart.

    Dr. Jimenez: Oh, absolutely. And you witness it firsthand, right? You are part of that team, but not only is there the surgeon, but there is the anesthetist, the circulating nurse, the scrub nurse the technicians, the radiographic technician. I mean, it's a whole team that, you know, at times it could be about a dozen team members to carry out one surgery. And again, it speaks to the scope and the complexity of what we do, that it truly involves that team spirit, that team approach. And again, I'm fortunate that you visited the OR and had an opportunity to see how it is that we carry out these operations. And yeah, it just raises the bar to another level that once again is the best that we can offer for our patients and our community.

    Host: And the beauty of this technology is that every team member in the room sees the same thing as the surgeon. So as opposed to just the surgeon looking through a microscope to see what we're, you know, what the operation is, everybody can see what's happening.

    Dr. Jimenez: Yes. So the previous technology allowed our team members to have a visualization of what we did, but it was through a smaller monitor, 20 top five inches, 22 inches. But the 3D component I think, is what access an immersive technology, where the staff, everybody is in sync to what is going on. It's literally night and day what I see through the microscope, traditional microscope piece and what others would see in the traditional 2D monitor. But with these tool, large, a 55 inch screen 3D monitors everyone's is in sync and in tune to the surgery, which means everybody is much more engaged, much more involved. I'll have to say some, some of our technicians like to stay and observe the surgery because of the anatomical detail. When we can show a nerve, a disc, a neural structure at that size, it really enhances learning. We host students, residents, and etcetera. So, the educational experience, which is also a part of our mission is one that is enhanced through these technologies. So again, we're very fortunate to have it, and look forward to implementing additional treatment modalities here in the community.

    Host: Absolutely. We're here with Dr. Juan Jimenez neurosurgeon at Riverside Neurosciences Institute, talking about the acquisition of the, Orbeye system. The high end high resolution details provided by the Orbeye allow our team to tailor appropriate surgical interventions. And let's talk for a minute about some of the conditions that are treated by surgery with the use of this new technology.

    Dr. Jimenez: Yeah. As a neurosurgeon we treat the neurosurgical team. We treat conditions of the brain the spine and the peripheral nerve. So all of those three general conditions can be treated. So in the setting of the brain, obviously right now, it's summertime. So we deal with head injuries, traumatic and at times also bleeds strokes. Those conditions of the brain can be treated. And also the tumors that can present in the brain are treated by our team. As you move down the spine, a very common condition is cervical lumbar, thoracic disc herniation. So we are able to remove these traumatic and non-traumatic conditions through dime size incisions and in an outpatient basis. So patient can come in, go home the same day and have full pain relief. And then as the conditions are more advanced or more degenerated, we can do spinal reconstructions in the form of artificial discs of both the neck and the lower back. As well as reconstructive procedures for so-called deformity or misalignment of the spine. And then neuromodulation, spinal cord stimulation is a treatment modality that we offer here at Riverside to control pain when the pain cannot be controlled through traditional means, and that can be lifesaving for some patients. So certainly the whole gamut of the nervous system is one that we can treat locally using the Orbeye.

    Host: Game changing technology life-changing technology in something that I'm sure is so very gratifying for you to be able to bring to your community, Firestone, Illinois, again, with the, Orbeye system. And so I'm going to shift gears just a little bit, because this is quite an interesting piece. And that's the other leading hospitals nationally have taken up use of the Orbeye, and one that was specifically featured on Netflix. So do you want to talk a little bit about Lennox Hill and how that might be relative to some of the viewers and listeners out there?

    Dr. Jimenez: Absolutely. I mean, it's a series that's out there that really immerses the audience into what happens in the medical healthcare delivery system neurosurgical emergency gynecological, and to see these technologies on the media, I think can allow the audience to experience firsthand what it is that we do. And some of the very challenging conditions and situations that we are faced with. So certainly having premier centers in the nation utilize this technology. And again, featured on Netflix, I think gives us a lot of pride that we are able to deliver equivalent care here in Kankakee, Illinois at Riverside Medical Center.

    Host: Absolutely. Dr. Mendez, thanks for joining us on the podcast. Is there anything else in relation to the Orbeye that you want to mention before we wrap things up?

    Dr. Jimenez: Yeah. So, you know, it's part of our technology innovation that we're doing here at Riverside. It's a great component in addition to our GPS 3D navigation system that we use, but the next step will be our robotic implementation. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, some of those plants were placed on hold. So to our listeners stay tuned, we are looking forward to bringing further innovation to the community, through our robotic platform here at Riverside Medical Center.

    Host: More to come at the Riverside Neurosurgeon sciences Institute and Doctor, how my individuals learn more about this topic or seek neurosurgical care?

    Dr. Jimenez: Yeah. You know, through our phone at our office (815) 932-7200. And through our Riverside website of neurosurgery specialist and neurosurgery consultants, as well as the Riverside Neurosciences Institute. So certainly through our website can be a source of information. And through My Chart. Now, patients can schedule their own appointments. So I'd like to encourage the audience locally that to use that platform in order to schedule and to see us in an expedient fashion. We truly offer if possible same day, if not next day appointment. So there are very critical timing issues when it comes to neurological conditions. So the sooner we can see our patients, the sooner we can do an evaluation and render care if necessary.

    Host: Absolutely. Well, thank you doctor for joining us on the podcast today. For more information on this topic and all of the others covered on our Well Within Reach Podcast, visit Riversidehealthcare.org.