With the goal of reducing risks and improving outcomes, Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center now offers state-of-the-art technology to patients undergoing neurosurgery. The Mercy Health – Neuroscience Institute at St. Rita’s is only the second medical center in Ohio to offer BodyTom® technology.

As the world’s first portable, full-body, 32-slice CT (computed tomography) scanner, BodyTom® is a multi-departmental imaging solution capable of transforming any room in the hospital into an advanced imaging suite. 

How it works: Because the BodyTom® is in the operating room, surgeons are able to scan a patient during the surgery while the patient is still under anesthesia. BodyTom® images are then uploaded to a computer work station in the operating room; those images are then used by the surgeon to navigate the patient’s brain or spine. This allows the surgeon to see very accurately where she/he is in the patient’s brain during removal of a brain tumor or in the spine during the insertion of implants (screws or cages) as part of a spine fusion procedure. The surgeon may then repeat the BodyTom® scan to make sure that the whole brain mass has been removed or that the implants inserted into the spine during a spine fusion procedures are exactly where they are supposed to be. This leads to fewer complications both in brain and spine surgery with fewer patients needing to go back to the operating room for completion of brain lesion resection or spinal implants repositioning. 

Most important, because of this investment, St. Rita’s is able to offer the community the ability to receive this top of the line care without having to travel to another medical center, thus allowing patients to recover close to their families and in their own homes.

“Having this technology allows us to capture an image of the entire brain or spine without having to move the patient during surgery. That means the surgeon has the ability to perform any necessary refinements while the patient is still under anesthesia,” said Mario Ammirati, MD, MBA, Chairman of Neurosurgery and Surgical Director of the Neuroscience Institute for Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center. “The BodyTom® helps make surgeries safer and reduces the likelihood of patients having to undergo a redo surgery.”

In addition to improving surgical accuracy and reducing patient risks, BodyTom® technology also offers several other benefits to the patient including: 

  • Operating Case Time Reduction: Unnecessary to remove patient from the OR for a CT scan in another hospital location. 
  • Improved Patient Safety: Increased visualization reduces risk to injuring the nervous and vascular structures during the procedure. Accurate placement of implants increases structural stability.
  • Increased Accuracy: Improves navigation and placement accuracy using the 32-slice scanning capability. 
  • Decreased Exposure to Radiation: Reduced amount of radiation exposure to patients, physicians, and staff due to an internal lead-lining and a reduced number of required scans.
  • Improved Image Quality: Higher quality imaging provides the neurosurgeon with improved navigational capabilities, thus precision in the placement of hardware and accuracy/completion of the tumor removal (especially in the deep brain procedures).