A nationally renowned neurosurgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is the first in the state to use a minimally invasive, breakthrough brain tumor removal procedure using a tube-like tool and sophisticated three-dimensional imagery in two successful surgeries.
The cutting-edge surgery uses a new BrainPath tube, advanced imaging of tracts in the brain and a computerized brain navigation system, which allows UAMS physicians to navigate the brain to target and suction out deep-seated brain tumors, abscesses and hemorrhages that could not be reached with as little disruption of tissue with traditional techniques. The surgery removes deeply located tumors in the brain considered difficult to safely access, such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBMs) and metastatic cancerous brain tumors.
John D. Day, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in the UAMS College of Medicine, who has performed this new surgery twice at UAMS with success – once for a malignant tumor and once for an abscess – says the new port neurosurgery is a promising development in allowing brain tumor removal with a minimum of injury to normal surrounding brain tissue.
“The procedure is the closest that we can get to a precisely targeted, flawless surgery for deep brain tumors,” Day said. “We are able to get to tumors in a much safer way that will put patients at less risk of brain damage and will preserve critical brain structures and tracts.”
Along with the Brain Path device, the Myriad, a thin, tubular three-in-one device (scissors, suction and blunt dissector) designed by NICO, is used to remove hard-to-reach tumors through the narrow corridor. The device can be used on multiple procedures and does not use heat, so there is less risk to surrounding tissue.
The many benefits of the breakthrough procedure, which creates a small, dime-size channel through the brain, include a faster recovery time, minimal internal and external scarring, less trauma to the brain and nerves, and few side effects and complications post-surgery, Day said.
Day underwent extensive training in March in order to perform the surgery and says there are only about 50 neurosurgeons in the United States currently equipped to use the new devices.