A steady hand for intricate surgery

Garnette Sutherland is no ordinary neurosurgeon. He’s not only committed to improving his own practice, but also to helping making complex surgeries safer and more effective. I had the opportunity to meet with Sutherland during a visit to Calgary’s Foothills Hospital and chat with him about his project first-hand.

The video I shot (ABOVE), with Sutherland inside the NeuroArm surgical suite, gives you an idea of how the project works. A first CFI award helped give a boost to Sutherland’s MRI-equipped surgical suite. This project allowed surgeons access to images while performing surgery – thanks to a retractable MRI machine contained in the operating room.

He and his team then moved on to create a robotic arm that can perform intricate surgeries inside this MRI-equipped surgical suite, known as NeuroArm.

This work isn’t just saving lives, it’s also creating jobs through commercialization and export. Sutherland’s surgical suite was sold to IMRIS, a Winnipeg-based biomedical engineering company and they’re chalking up some impressive results.

Making intricate surgeries safer and more effective is just one of the benefits of such cutting-edge research infrastructure. It was truly motivating to see it all in action.

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