Brain surgeons can now assess their progress in real time

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Patients requiring surgery for aneurysms and brain tumours now have access to more accurate and safer treatment through revolutionary technology at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

The hospital’s new mobile imaging system Airo, created by German company Brainlab, is the most advanced intraoperative CT scanner available. It has the ability to perform scans to assess the degree to which certain tumours have been resected or removed while the surgery is still being performed.

Director of Neurosurgery Dr Bruce Hall said Greenslopes Private Hospital is the first unit in the Asia Pacific region to use the Airo in conjunction with new contrasting techniques.

Dr Hall said the contrasting process involves an injection of dye, which “lights up” the tumour and blood vessels.

“Anything that carries blood or has an abnormal blood supply will take up the contrast and show up on a CT scan. It’s like painting the tumour or blood vessels.”

The technology can be used at Greenslopes Private Hospital for cerebrovascular surgery including aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, intracranial tumours such as meningiomas and intracranial haemorrhages.

The Airo allows surgeons to perform scans while they are operating to assess their progress in real time, rather than completing surgery, waiting for the patient to wake up, then sending them to the MR scanner.

Dr Hall said, “the equipment can also tell us if there has been an inadvertent haemorrhage in the brain during surgery. We have a better chance of picking up a complication during the operation than waiting until afterwards to find out.”

“We are doing work that nobody else has done in Australia, and it’s simply enabling us to perform intracranial surgery more accurately and safely,” Dr Hall said.

Greenslopes Private Hospital CEO Tim Daniel said, “this is a significant milestone for the hospital and shows our commitment to ensuring our patients have access to the latest and best treatments on offer.”

The Airo is housed in a new dedicated neuro and spinal surgery theatre, which brings the total number of main operating theatres at Greenslopes Private Hospital to 18.

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