Qatar Doctors Perform The First AR Navigated Surgery In The Middle East


A team of neurosurgeons at Hamad General Hospital has successfully removed a cancerous spinal tumor from a 60-year-old patient using a new technology called “Augmented Reality with Electronic Navigation.”

This is the first time this technology has been used in Qatar and the Middle East

Dr. Sirajeddin Belkhair, Head of the Neurosurgery Department at HMC and leader of the surgical team, explained that the new technology allows surgeons to guide surgical instruments with high precision within the patient’s spinal column. This minimizes the risk of injury to surrounding tissues and reduces the potential side effects of the surgery.

The technology works by integrating the patient’s spinal column CT scan images with the actual patient spine through electronic glasses worn by the surgeon during the procedure. These glasses connect to a computer through Bluetooth within the operating room, providing a clearer view for placing spinal implants. As a result, the surgical procedure can be performed more quickly and with greater accuracy than ever before.

The patient, a 60-year-old man, had been suffering from a spinal tumor that was putting pressure on his spinal cord, causing paralysis in both of his legs. After the 6-hour surgical procedure, the tumor was successfully removed, and the patient regained the ability to walk on the third day after the surgery. He is currently undergoing post-operative physical therapy to fully recover his walking ability and return to his normal life.

Dr. Sirajeddin emphasized the importance of Augmented Reality and Electronic Navigation technology in spinal surgery due to the complexity of spinal anatomy and the need for extreme precision. This technology helps in identifying optimal surgical sites and angles and provides accurate guidance for the surgical instruments used in placing spinal implants.

The Neurosurgery Department at HMC has experienced significant growth in recent years in terms of the quality and quantity of surgical procedures. The department performs over 1,000 surgeries annually, encompassing brain and spinal surgery in all its branches and providing high quality medical services to the residents and citizens of Qatar.

Dr. Sirajeddin Belkhair attributed the substantial increase in the number and quality of surgeries to the growing confidence of patients, both citizens and residents, in the quality of the surgical procedures and medical services provided by HMC. This eliminates the need for patients to travel abroad for treatment, as they can receive the best medical care in Qatar from highly skilled medical teams.

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