UAB Medical West First in State to Adopt New Surgical Technology


Surgeons at UAB Medical West Hospital have adopted a new technology for surgical procedures and reconstructions called the SPY Elite™ System by Life Cell. In real time, the SPY Elite System™ enhances intraoperative visualization of tissue perfusion, or the amount of blood that a tissue receives. This is critical in assessing the body’s ability to heal and to reduce complications after surgery.

This new technology has only been around for 5 years, and UAB Medical West recently became the first in Alabama to begin using this advanced technology. The SPY Elite System™ features a large display monitor which provides real-time perfusion mapping during surgery, a maneuverable imaging head for convenient use in the operating room, an enhanced software package, and SPY Elite™supply kit to ensure patient safety.
Blood flow to the tissue is a critical indicator of tissue health and is crucial to surgical success and the body’s ability to heal. Even a few hours of impaired perfusion can cause irreversible damage. Before this technology was invented, clinical judgment was the most common method used for perfusion assessment. Despite excellent surgical techniques, perfusion-related complications still occur. The SPY Elite System™ allows surgeons to see blood flow during surgery and to assess how much blood flow is reaching a particular tissue. The objective information given through the unique Spy Elite™ software can compliment the surgeon’s clinical perspective, providing a comprehensive view of perfusion. This greatly improves patient outcomes by minimizing surgical complications including skin infections, increased pain, and degradation of the surgical site.
Surgeons at UAB Medical West are using the technology for various procedures including skin flaps, hernia repair, colon resections, and breast reconstruction.
“The surgical outcome improvements we have seen are amazing,” said Dr. John Issis, General Surgeon at UAB Medical West. “This technology really allows us to better assess tissue perfusion during surgery, which ultimately improves the patient healing and recovery process. We are excited to be the first in our state to offer this enhancement for our patients.”
For more information on this extraordinary system, please call Kevin Earls, Life Cell Territory Manager at 205-613-8393 or Marianne Beard, UAB Medical West Marketing Specialist at 481-8502. To schedule an appointment with a UAB Medical West Physician or Surgeon, please call 996-WEST.