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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: Improving Precision and Accuracy with Microscopes

Interview with Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini


Spine surgery is extremely delicate and requires extensive training and experience. Innovative visualization technologies can also help achieve better outcomes allowing to see more and have a clearer view of deep and narrow cavities. Surgical microscopes support a wide range of procedures, including minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS).

Compared to loupes, microscopes provide increased magnification and optimal illumination at all stages of the procedure. They also offer greater comfort, with less strain to the neck. And microscopes are an excellent teaching tool, allowing to share live on-screen video and easily save images and videos.

Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini is the Chief of the Department of Oncologic and Degenerative Spine Surgery at the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy. He oversees a team of 8 spine surgeons specialized in the management of oncologic, degenerative and infectious diseases of the spine. His Department uses the Leica PROvido floor stand surgical microscope for all spine procedures performed at the Institute.

PROvido is a next-generation surgical microscope with premium FusionOptics technology which unites high resolution with an increased depth of field for a greatly expanded area in full focus. It provides a deeper view into cavities with more detail and less shadow. There is no need to constantly refocus, allowing to work smoothly and confidently.

We asked Dr. Gasbarrini to tell us about his surgical practice, the impact PROvido has had and how microscopes are an improvement over loupes.

Five questions to Dr. Alessandro Gasbarrini

What is your biggest challenge as a spine surgeon?

“As I mainly treat oncological pathologies, my biggest challenge is to guarantee a good quality of life for my patients and, when possible, improve it. To achieve this purpose, I need to be as accurate as possible respecting vital and noble structures.”

Your department recently acquired the Leica PROvido surgical microscope. What did it change?

“The impact on my practice has been significant. Precision and accuracy have greatly improved, and these features reflect on clinical results. The Leica PROvido is handy and easy to use. It is compact, which is an important feature for an orthopedics operating room. And it is very stable.”

Not all spine surgeons use a spine surgery microscope, some use loupes. When is the use of a microscope particularly important?

“I recommend using a microscope for operations of the cervical spine, in dural sutures or when it is necessary to isolate the nervous structures from the scars of previous operations. An adequate illumination of the operating field and good image quality are required to achieve optimal outcomes.”

What are the main advantages of the Leica PROvido?

“I would say its excellent image quality, its reliability and its practicality. And again, the fact that it is easy to operate. My experience with the Leica PROvido is excellent. I truly believe it has improved my practice and that of my colleagues. I would recommend it for these reasons.”

How does the Leica PROvido support your Department’s teaching activities?

“The possibility to share what you’re doing in real time is of paramount importance for teaching. I also think that the use of microscopes should be part of the learning curve of each resident who is interested in spine surgery.”

About Leica Spine Surgery solutions

Leica offers a wide range of microscopes for microsurgery, spine surgery and spine procedures:

  • PROvido is a floor stand surgical microscope which offers a bright and fully-focused view into narrow cavities. Premium surgical optics and smart illumination allow to seamlessly progress through surgery.
  • M530 OHX is a precision surgical microscope for neurosurgery and spine surgery. Thanks to the smooth and accurate positioning, and the 600 mm working distance, working in deep cavities is effortless.
  • ARveo is a digital Augmented Reality microscope for complex neurosurgery. It provides a single, precise and augmented view of the surgical field to help make precise and confident decisions.

All these microscopes can be used for operations of the cervical spine (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or ACDF, laminectomy and foraminotomy) and of the lumbar spine (lumbar discectomy, lumbar laminectomy and posterolateral lumbar interbody fusion or PLIF).

To learn more about our Orthopedic or Neurosurgical Spine portfolio, contact a Leica representative. Our team will be happy to advise you on how to choose a spine surgery microscope.

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Do you want to know more?

Contact us and discover Leica Microsystems spine surgery microscopes, with customizable options to fit your needs.

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