Brain surgery breakthrough

A new device developed for safer and less invasive brain surgery will be used in the UK for the first time at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

A new device developed for safer and less invasive Brain scanbrain surgery will be used in the UK for the first time at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The device, known as BrainPath technology, gently displaces brain tissue as it creates a ‘corridor’ to a tumour or haemorrhage site, using natural folds of the brain and running parallel to fibre tracts.

The approach gives non-disruptive access to surgical sites in the brain. It can be used anywhere in the brain’s white matter where access is a challenge. Around the world, 5.2 million brain tumours and strokes occur annually, offering a lot of potential for live saving surgeries.  

The incidence rate of diagnosed brain tumours in the United Kingdom has increased dramatically over the past four decades and is now at more than 11,000,

said Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo, neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital.

Having just acquired this technology at our institution, we can now offer a less invasive surgical option to patients and also provide options for many who might have been told before that their tumour was inoperable. This new way to do brain surgery has a growing body of peer-reviewed evidence of improved patient outcomes for both tumour removal and haemorrhagic stroke,” he added. “We’re very excited to be the first in the UK to offer this technology.

The technology has been included in peer-reviewed publications, posters and abstracts and more than 50 presentations at national and international neurosurgical conferences. King’s College Hospital will be the first in the UK to offer a training course. More than 500 neurosurgeons, residents and fellows are already trained on BrainPath and more than 4,000 procedures have been completed. Having recently been awarded a CE (European Conformity) mark, the technology can now be used across the European Union in more than thirty countries.

Patients who undergo brain tumour surgery routinely face a significant risk of long-term damage to their brain in return for a life-saving procedure,

said David Jenkinson, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at The Brain Tumour Charity.

Any development which allows neurosurgeons to access and remove tumour tissue with less potential harm to the brain is a welcome step forward. We hope the pioneering use of this technology at King’s College Hospital will lead to its wider introduction around the UK, helping to reduce the harm caused by brain tumours and their treatment – one of the key goals we are working toward at The Brain Tumour Charity.

Neurosurgery is part of the King’s Health Partners Clinical Neurosciences Clinical Academic Group.

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