History of image guided surgery (IGS)
Surgery is the branch of medicine that deals with the physical manipulation of a bodily structure to diagnose, prevent, or cure an ailment.The history of surgery can be traced back to as early as approximately 12000 BC in Mesolithic times when trepanation was considered as the treatment for epileptic seizures, migraines and mental disorders. With increasing knowledge of instrumental techniques and human anatomy and physiology, modern surgery was developed during the late Renaissance period. However, post- surgery survival was still a tough issue, until the discovery of anesthetics and the use of antiseptics in the 19th century.Although surgical procedures of the late 19th century had greatly mitigated the problem of pain, bleeding, and infection, and the anatomical and functional understanding of human body was relatively more advanced, the success and the complexity of such a procedure were still bounded by the lack of accurate localization of operating targets, guidance of operative instruments inside the body, and the knowledge of individual anatomical variation. Without sufficient pre-surgical planning and clear up-to-date information of the operating field, a good judgment for surgical procedures was difficult to achieve by the surgeons, who solely relied on their limited personal experience, and this usually led to prolonged operating time and larger incisions for the patients. In the meanwhile, operations, such as implantation and neurosurgery required much more accurate navigation of the operating tools and the localization of targets (e.g. tumor). Bearing the disadvantages of old surgical interventions, these types of surgeries were so technically challenging that very few direct therapies could be made available. Therefore, there was a desperate need of a more sophisticated technological support, which could offer the surgeons good visualizations and coordination of the operative field and surgical instruments inside the body before and during the surgery, in order to provide distinctive surgical plans for an individual, minimize the intrusiveness to the body, and allow more delicate and complicated surgical treatments. Hence, the primitive idea of image-guided surgery (IGS) was born.