A mother brought her child into the office after the child, eight years old, experienced back pain and an inability to control her bladder. Upon examination, I observed a strangely shaped growth on the back of the child near the midline with a slight creamy discharge. I ordered ESR and CRP tests. I couldn't help but notice that this child was the same age as my child.
After the ESR and CRP tests were slightly elevated indicating a possibility of infection, I ordered a 3D CT Scan. The CT Scan concluded that there was a spinal dorsal sinus tract (DST) which is a rare congenital dysraphism that occurs in approximately one in every 2500 live births. A dermoid cyst was located at end of the dermal sinus tract.
After discussing the child's condition with the parents we opted to perform surgery to remove the spinal lipoma. Since this was a high risk surgery, I felt that adequate preparation was required. To prepare for the surgery, I put on my Hololens mixed reality glasses and grabbed the controllers. As I moved the joystick upward with my right hand, the 3D CT Scan appeared displaying the child's spine and the lipoma. After reviewing the lipoma from all angles, I pushed forward to enable the slicer tool and was able to view inside the lipoma. This would be a very difficult surgery due to the lipoma completely wrapping around the spinal cord. Being able to practice with Hololens prepared me for this surgery before having to perform the surgery in reality.
When it was time to perform the surgery, I stepped into the Da Vinci machine and began to remove the lipoma. Being able to visualize the child's condition before conducting the surgery increased the likelihood of a positive outcome for this child. The surgery went smoothly and I successfully removed all of the tissue. After the surgery, I sent the tissue samples to the lab for evaluation. I prescribed antibiotics to reduce the risk of and post-surgical infection.
So, maybe this wasn't a real surgery, but it could have been. Using the technologies such a Microsoft Hololens, Bossc, and Da Vinci, I feel that I could have easily performed this surgery because I was able to visualize the child's entire anatomy prior to conducting the surgery.
Jenna Bourgeois, CEO of Dynamics Intelligence has over 20 years of technology experience and began consulting healthcare clients in 1995. While not a real doctor, she plays one using mixed reality devices such as Microsoft's Hololens.