Mercy neurosurgeons in Rogers use new equipment

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,427 views 

Pictured from left, Raj Nangunoori, neurosurgeon; nurse practitioner Kali Eddy; Alejandro Castellvi, neurosurgeon; and nurse practitioner Paula Stephens.

Doctors at Mercy in Rogers say the provider’s new imaging systems are the most advanced navigation-assisted equipment available in Northwest Arkansas.

Mercy’s new Medtronics O-arm imaging and associated StealthStation provide navigation-assisted platforms that allow surgeons to take CT scans before, during and after surgery. It helps them increase accuracy, whether placing spinal instrumentation or removing a brain tumor.

Mercy neurosurgeons Alejandro Castellvi and Raj Nangunoori have been using precision imaging and navigation programs for surgeries since training together in neurological surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh seven years ago.

“Precision is the biggest part of using navigation assistance. We can place medical devices such as interbody grafts or pedicle screws involved in spinal fusion while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue,” Castellvi said.

The technology is used most often for spinal surgery but is also useful for cranial surgery. It can be used for elective procedures and in trauma.

The physicians have trained on several platforms that work in similar ways, so they are familiar with the benefits and limitations. Navigation assistance is ideal for a complex case because it increases accuracy while keeping the procedure as minimally invasive as possible.

The two surgeons’ experience working together during residency and fellowship means they have already developed the teamwork essential to a high-pressure practice. This technology just enhances that benefit, Nangunoori said.

“We have worked on many cases together, and Dr. Castellvi is a good technical surgeon and someone who I trust,” Nangunoori said. “Having surgeons who can work together in the operating room is good for patients, because it can decrease operating time and reduce complications.”