New remote robotic brain surgery could revolutionize aneurysm, stroke treatment

Technologist Nicole Cancelliere, left, and Dr. Timo Krings make adjustments to the robotic arm at Toronto Western Hospital. (Nick Boisvert/CBC)

(Nick Boisvert/ CBC News) — Doctors at a Toronto hospital have performed what they’re calling the world’s first neurovascular surgery using robotics, a procedure that could open the door to heightened levels of precision and improved care for patients in remote communities.

The procedure was performed on Nov. 1 at Toronto Western Hospital to treat a patient who suffered a major aneurysm, a potentially lethal bulge of a blood vessel in the brain.

The complex operation to remove the aneurysm was performed via a remote-controlled robotic arm, which helped the surgeons guide a catheter to the patient’s brain from a single incision made near the groin.

The robotic device allows surgeons to make “submillimetric” adjustments during the complex operation, in which a catheter ultimately deploys a web of metallic coils at the site of an aneurysm, effectively choking it off from the rest of the brain. X-ray images provide a real time road map during the surgery. (…)

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