Robotic surgeons at the Coliseum Robotics Institute are the first in the region to use the new Firefly Fluorescence Imaging during robotic-assisted surgical procedures. The Firefly Fluorescence Imaging System allows the surgeon to visualize blood flow in real time. To use this new imaging technology, a green dye is administered by an anesthesiologist through a peripheral IV line. When the dye binds with the plasma proteins in the blood, and the robot’s laser illuminates the surgical scene, the dye becomes excited and glows, showing the path of the blood vessels and the blood moving through them.

This new state-of-the-art imaging technology can be used during several robotic-assisted procedures including general surgery – removing the gall bladder or a kidney; oncology – removing tumors or cancerous cells; and gynecology, in treating conditions like endometriosis. Throughout each procedure the Firefly Fluorescence Imaging System helps the surgeon pinpoint areas of blood flow, which in turn, aids in reduced blood loss. The dye also helps the surgeon clearly identify cancerous tissue and blood flow to tumors. Once the procedure is completed, this fluorescent imaging technology also allows the surgeon to see that blood flow has been restored.

Surgeons are able to quickly switch back and forth between Firefly imaging and normal white light. Fluorescence imaging allows surgeons to see and assess anatomy better than the naked eye, further enhancing the unmatched vision, precision and control of minimally invasive da Vinci® surgery.

Below are two images of a nephrectomy (kidney removal), the first shows the procedure under white light, the second shows the Firefly Fluorescence Imaging System at work.