Aurora St. Lukes Medical Center Surgical Team Performs World's First Neurosurgery to Use Groundbreaking Planning, Visualization and Automated Technology

April 20, 2015

Aurora neurosurgeons first in the world to use Synaptive Medical’s BrightMatter™ Servo Solution including 3D tractography visualization and robotic position of a scope

Milwaukee – In a breakthrough with the potential to improve outcomes and reduce the risks of complex brain surgeries, the surgical team at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee announced today the successful completion of a procedure using newly-cleared technology for planning and resection. This operation utilized the entire suite of Synaptive Medical Neurosurgical Solutions a few days after BrightMatter™ Guide was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration. As a result, a procedure was successfully performed on the brain of a patient with minimal anesthetic and risk to the patient’s brain function.

“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.”

The new technology is part of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center’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. This 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.

“This first surgery is the culmination of years of work towards a simple goal – providing surgeons with better tools and visualization to improve efficiency in the operating room," said Cameron Piron, founder and president of Synaptive Medical. "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. 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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Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

Kristin Rabas

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