Brain Surgery Made Easier For Doctors and Patients

Eighty-thousand new cases of primary brain tumors could be diagnosed this year. These are cases where abnormal cells start to grow in the brain. For some patients, surgery is the best treatment option. Now, surgeons are getting help from a robot and a very powerful camera.

It was just another day of yardwork for Ken Lambert but then, “I developed a numbness in my right hand and to the lesser degree in the right side of my face." Lambert said.

Turns out, a tumor had formed in his brain.

“Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is always scary,” he said.

But the tumor was removed with the help of this new robotic camera. USF Florida Hospital’s Dr. Raul Olivera performed the surgery.

“It’s a very novel way to approach brain surgery,” Olivera said.

Olivera says the robotic camera gives a wider field of vision, cleaner images and better angles. It makes the surgeries quicker with less risk of tissue damage.

“The robotic changes the dynamic on it because then you have the light source and camera acquiring the images kind of like it becomes your friend and works along with you. You don’t have to tell it what to do,” Olivera explained.

Before the robotic camera, doctors relied on microscopes and magnifying glasses.

“Technology, despite many of the things that people describe as evil and bad, also has tremendous uses within our lives.” Lambert said.

“This is going to the wave of the future,” said Olivera.

And Lambert is just glad he can be part of it, green thumb and all.

Right now the camera can be used for patients with brain tumors and intracerebral hemorrhage. The technology used for this robotic camera was derived from the international space station.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Emily Maza Gleason, Field Producer; Travis Bell, Videographer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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