Aurora performs world’s first neurosurgery using new technology

A surgical team from Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee has performed the world’s first neurosurgery using newly-cleared technology for planning and resection. The surgery took place earlier this month.

The new technology is part of Aurora St. Luke’s all new neurosurgical operating room, considered among the most advanced in the world. The specific intraoperative technology breakthrough utilized during the procedure is known as the BrightMatter Servo Solution.

Developed by Toronto-based Synaptive Medical Inc., the Solution is comprised of three technologies: advanced optical visualization with efficient light delivery to the surgical field; automated positioning of the optical system at the command of the surgeon; and visualization of interaction of surgical tools with medical images including three-dimensional tractography.

“I’ve performed perhaps 10,000 brain surgeries in my career and this felt like the first time I had the tools I’ve always needed,” said Dr. Amin Kassam, vice president of the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and chairman of the department of neurosurgery for Aurora Health Care, who performed the surgery. “From the first planning stages right up through the surgery itself, we finally had the kind of look inside the patient’s brain that previously we could have only dreamed of.”

Cameron Piron, founder and president of Synaptive Medical, calls the surgery the culmination of years of work toward achieving the goal of providing surgeons with better tools and visualization to improve efficiency in the operating room.

“Once a practitioner can direct the flow of information and imaging without being distracted from the patient, he or she is able to operate more efficiently and constantly evaluate the surgical approach, making image-informed decisions while proceeding down his or her pre-determined pathway,” Piron said. “Following this success, we’re looking forward to bringing this groundbreaking technology to patients around the world.”

“I’ve helped plan a lot of surgeries using traditional MRI, but this was a completely different experience, and I think that translated into improved patient care,” added Dr. Melanie Fukui, the neuroradiologist who planned the surgery. “I had an unmatched view of the brain and the critical structures. For the first time, I was able to say to the surgical team, ‘here’s precisely how to perform this surgery to maximize outcome for the patient,’ and thanks to the optics and automated assistance, they were able to follow through.”

Dr. Richard Rovin, another neurosurgeon who helped perform the surgery along with Dr. Kassam, said, “When a patient is having complicated brain surgery, they deserve the absolute best technology available. We were able to give that to this patient, and hopefully that will mean a better result for him and all of our future patients going forward.”

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