Precision is critical when it comes to operating on the brain. In this edition of Healthy Living, YNN's Marcie Fraser explains new developments helping doctors become more exact.
Brain tumors are located by using a 3D coordinate system along with an MRI, but the MRI's can be easily compromised by any type of metal.
"Even a lap top plug can cause image that are unusable. One of the things we did was developed was a fiber-optic cable system to connect the robot to a computer outside of the MRI room itself," said Dr. Julie Pilitsis, a neurosurgeon.
Looking to improve the process, brain Dr. Pilitsis has secured a $3 million research grant. She has teamed up with robotic engineers who think a MRI guided robot system is the answer.
The new robot, which is made of metal-free material, can work side by side with the MRI machine without compromising any of the images.
Dr. Pilitsis explained, "While the robot is moving we get MRI pictures of what is going on and gives check and balance that our automation is working with real time feedback."
Part of the grant supports experimental studies on sheep skulls, researchers are looking for something better than the traditional radiation therapy. They are inventing a new delivery system. The high intensity ultrasound therapy can more effective in destroying brain tumors.
"It's minimally invasive, just need a small opening versus major brain surgery and get immediate results, and get real time feed back with MRI and know that the tumor is gone," said Dr. Pilitsis.
Pilitsis' goal is to apply for FDA approval in five years. She wants to be part of the next breakthrough she believes will be robot assisted brain surgery on humans.