What is intraoperative monitoring and how does it protect patients?

What is intraoperative monitoring and how does it protect patients?

Within the field of health there are advances and novelties every day. This is an area in which the technology plays a fundamental factor and has offered too important contributions in recent years. Many of the ailments and injuries that a person can suffer today can receive treatments that improve the quality of life and restore normalcy. A clear example is intraoperative monitoring, but do you really know what it consists of?

In the first instance, only in Mexico it is estimated that, in 2018, more than a million surgeries of all kinds. Although it is true that the intervention of specialists marks a health benefit, it should not be ignored that there are risks and consequences.

Problems that can occur in an intervention

Initial treatments are usually geared towards the least invasive, such as rehabilitation exercises and medications. However, in specific cases, different types of surgeries are recommended that can have a positive impact and outweigh the risks. To illustrate the above, between 14 and 71 percent of spinal surgeries can present complications.

In this regard, a type of important injury that is perhaps little known are those at the nervous level. To understand it, it is worth starting with the simplest: there are two types of nerves. First there are the central ones, which correspond to the spinal cord and the spine. While the second are the peripheral ones, which connect the brain with the rest of the extremities. Both have essential functions in the human body and can be damaged by internal factors or external influences such as trauma, injury, accident and even poorly performed procedures.

Read:  Bad idea: forcing your son to kiss

“Before performing a surgical process, the doctor evaluates the potential risks and benefits for each individual, according to strict clinical examinations and a correct assessment. An experienced professional will know how to choose the best alternative, informing the patient at all times”, says Dr. Jessica Rossela García, a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

In addition, during the surgeries several specialists are involved who are in charge of fundamental aspects to protect life and health. One of the most important is the one responsible for monitoring the integrity and functionality of the nerves.

“Intraoperative monitoring or IONM, for its acronym in English, is very important inside the operating room. It guarantees that individuals maintain the sensitivity and functionality of all their extremities, functions such as walking or moving their arms and hands. It must always be performed by a specialist in Rehabilitation or Clinical Neurophysiology and with the highest quality equipment and cutting-edge technology”.

Risks that may occur

Among the risks of poor intraoperative monitoring are the loss of mobility or sensitivity of some parts of the body, consequences that can permanently disable the patient. This, in addition to the obvious effects on people’s lives, can affect the family economy. It is estimated that about 42 percent of peripheral nerve injury patients are people of working age, with a formal job.

The specialist concludes that little is said about intraoperative monitoring and there is still a great margin of growth for its professionalization. That is why it is very important to consider that surgeries are procedures that are performed as a team. They intervene from the surgeon, to the anesthesiologist and neurophysiologist.