Spine Nevada’s Dr. James Lynch country’s first surgeon to reach 100 cases using augmented reality

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 3:04 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Over the last 15 months, some of the world’s most advanced spinal care has taken place in Northern Nevada.

In July of 2020, Spine Nevada’s Dr. James Lynch was the first surgeon in the country to use Augmedics Xvision in a community hospital. He’s now the first to reach 100 cases using the cutting-edge technology, which essentially allows surgeons to look through a patients’ skin using a pre-loaded CT scan and virtual headset.

“A long fusion that would’ve taken us an hour before can be done in about 15 minutes,” said Dr. Lynch. “The proof is in the pudding. The last 100 patients, most of them have done very well and benefited from this technology.”

Maurin Nichols was Dr. Lynch’s 100th case using Xvision. At 14, she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and had her first surgery with Spine Nevada in 2011. A decade later, her second was needed, and this time Dr. Lynch was using Xvision.

“It was night and day,” said Nichols. “I’m up and moving a week after surgery which is just absolutely amazing to me. Every issue I had before the surgery is completely gone.”

Dr. Lynch expects Xvision to eventually be widely used in minimally invasive surgery. He says it allows for smaller incisions, leading to better accuracy, little blood loss and a quicker recovery. He also points out how it doesn’t bring any radiation into the operating room and doesn’t necessarily need to be used in a hospital setting.

“It’s fun from our point of view to stay current and feel like in Northern Nevada we’re contributing to advancing technology in spine care,” said Dr. Lynch, who’s 100 cases with Xvision are far more than any other surgeon in the U.S. “I think all surgeons will eventually adopt this.”

As for Nichols, she anticipates her recovery time to be less than half of what it was following her first fusion. She also says while her disease will force another surgery down the road, this new technology could prolong its need to maybe 15 or 20 years instead of 10.

“I absolutely owe him my life. I wouldn’t have any kind of quality of life, being this young, without what he’s done for me,” said Nichols. “I can’t say enough about the group and everything that they’ve given me. It’s really amazing.”

To learn more about Spine Nevada, click here.

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