Pune neurosurgeons undergo training to learn new technique to deal with brain tumours

The doctors believe that this new technique will lower the chances of collateral damage to a patient undergoing brain surgery from 10-80%, to just nominal
To avoid the damage to areas in the vicinity of the brain during a brain removal surgery, 39 neurosurgeons from Pune attended a training conducted by Prof Charlie Teo, a neurosurgeon from Australia, at a private hospital. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
To avoid the damage to areas in the vicinity of the brain during a brain removal surgery, 39 neurosurgeons from Pune attended a training conducted by Prof Charlie Teo, a neurosurgeon from Australia, at a private hospital. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
Published on Nov 24, 2021 11:21 PM IST
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BySteffy Thevar

To avoid the damage to areas in the vicinity of the brain during a brain removal surgery, 39 neurosurgeons from Pune attended a training conducted by Prof Charlie Teo, a neurosurgeon from Australia, at a private hospital.

The doctors believe that this new technique will lower the chances of collateral damage to a patient undergoing brain surgery from 10-80%, to just nominal.

Tumour removal surgeries require great precision and even the slightest error can paralyse the patient, or redefine the person’s abstract qualities.

The technique aims to provide a more precise scan of the brain to understand the networks connecting the brain which helps minimise the damage to a person’s physical and mental being, post operation.

Dr Sushil Patkar, neurosurgeon from Poona Hospital where the event was conducted, said, “This is a nascent technology which is currently being used in Australia and it is called ‘Quicktome Omniscent Neuro Technology’ which promises to minimise the damage to the parallel portions of the brain and for maximal and safe resection of difficult brain tumours.”

Explaining the brian tumour removal process he said, “It needs exact precision to remove a tumour which if not done accurately can damage the other functioning areas of the brain. It is easier to identify the areas in which parts of the brain perform the physical functions, however, it is very difficult to know the networks that perform the abstract functions which are the highest functions of the brain. There is no defined centre where these fibres exist for these kinds of function. Even if we avoid these centres in case of tumours sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the healthy part of the brain and the tumour, and sometimes the tumour has engulfed certain healthy parts of the brain, which if removed completely could damage the person’s life in an unexpected manner; for example things that made the person happy before might not make him/her happy post-surgery, or the same drive towards life may not exist even though the person is completely ‘healthy’.”

This new technique helps to scan the brain and finds all the possible networks that also include these abstract networks.

Dr Patkar said, “We have to send an MRI scan of the brain via the cloud and then identify the networks of the brain depending on which we can either change the entry point or even provide a detailed option to the patient and family regarding the possible effects it could have on the person, so that the family could take the call on whether or not to undergo the surgery. In case of cancerous tumours we can only prolong the inevitable because it is not curable, but in case of other tumours such new technologies can give better options.”

However, being a new technology there is no guarantee and it is still developing. “The technology would cost anywhere in the region of $60,000 dollars per year which eventually will be passed on to the patient which would be charged depending on the number of operations a year and other charges. This is why neurosurgeons in the city came together to look at it and decide if they could share the technology and the cost.”

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Saturday, December 04, 2021