Emerging Role Of Technology In Neurosurgery
We immediately relate ‘neurosurgery’ to brain surgery only. However, it is not only related to brain surgery, but is a vast subject concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of patients having injuries or disease related to the brain, spinal column, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
New technologies in Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery has benefited most of the people from technological evolutions. Some of the most significant medical discoveries in neurosurgery include Computerised Tomography (CT), MRI and Ultrasonography. These were developed years ago to improve diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities available to those patients who are suffering from cerebral diseases.
When talking about latest technologies in the field of neurosurgery, some technological developments are new whereas some are a refined form of existing equipment. Technological advancement in neurosurgery is occurring at such a rapid speed that even neurosurgeons who are having a specialized degree in Neurosurgery are facing trouble coping up with new technologies.
To cope up with the rapid increasing environment, the discoveries of new technologies are made which are as follows:
Gamma knife Radiosurgery:
Gamma knife radiosurgery is a type of radiation therapy used to treat abnormalities or any disease related to the brain.
In Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, specialized equipment focuses close to 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumour or other target. Although each beam has a very little effect on the brain tissue it passes through, a strong dose of the ration is delivered to the site where all the beams meet. The precision of Gamma knife radiosurgery results in minimal damage to healthy tissues surrounding the target. In some cases, Gamma Knife radiosurgery may have a lower risk of side effects compared with other types of radiation therapy. Gamma knife radiosurgery is often a safer option than is traditional brain surgery. It is usually a one-time therapy completed in a single day.
Endonasal surgery is also known as Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) is a surgical technique used to remove brain tumours and lesions.
With EEA, surgeons reach tumours and lesions of the skull base and top of the spine directly by operating through the nose and sinuses. A specially designed endoscope provides light and a lens for reviewing and transmitting internal images. Highly crafter instruments are used alongside the endoscope for dissection and tumour removal.
Minimally invasive spinal surgery:
Minimally invasive spinal surgery doesn’t involve a long incision. This surgery results in less pain after surgery and a faster recovery as compared to other approaches because it avoids significant damage to the muscles around the spine. The indications for minimally invasive spinal surgery are same as those for traditional open surgery. These techniques can be used for common procedures like lumbar decompression and spinal fusion.
Minimally invasive intracranial surgery:
Not all patients qualify for minimally invasive intracranial surgery because it depends on certain factors like age and overall health status.
The type and location of the surgical problem, along with the patient’s overall health and age, are factors we must take into consideration. But the growing number of patients who qualify for minimally invasive procedures can reap genuine benefits.
Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a procedure which involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of the brain. These electrodes are used to produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. These electrodes can even affect certain chemicals in the brain. A pacemaker-like device is used and is placed under the skin of your upper chest to control the amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation.
Neurosurgery changes constantly. In recent years, we have seen many changes and advancements in the field of Neurosurgery and we are looking forward to seeing more such technological advancements like this in future.
This piece has been contributed by Dr. Harjinder Singh Bhatoe, Director, Dept of Neurosurgery, Fortis Hospital, Noida.