You can get a lot better results out of spinal surgery when you actually see the spine before cutting the patient open.
New technology at Sparrow Hospital is allowing doctors to do just that.
In the live feed today (above) Sparrow featured amazing new technology and a young local Patient whose life was improved immeasurably by the surgery. The surgeon, Dr. Joseph Dewitt also demonstrated the technology and walked everyone through how this technology will revolutionize how surgeries like these will change in the future.
Joseph DeWitt, DO brought the technology, called "Firefly" to Mid-Michigan. It allows doctors to make a 3D replica of the patient's spine before the surgery. He says it makes the surgeries much more accurate and safer.
"We are increasing our accuracy rate and getting 99 percent accurate places versus 95 or 96...95-96 is great, 99 is better," he said.
The improved accuracy is crucial when surgeons are trying to place screws in the spines of people with scoliosis. Dr. DeWitt started using 3D printing technology about a year ago.
"When I found this technology I felt it was a simple addition to what we are already doing and it increases safety," he said.
Patients go through a pre-operation CT scan which makes a 3D replica in the computer. That model is then 3D printed into the actual size to help doctors better prepare when it comes to placement and trajectory.