Robotic arm latest technology in brain surgery

- The day after hurricane Irma struck Ken Lambert, like most Floridians, was outside picking up the pieces. What he did not know is that months before the monstrous storm made its way up the state; a very different kind of storm was silently brewing inside his skull. Ken was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

"I was in my yard just cleaning up small limb debris. I noticed a numbness in my right hand and a portion of my right face," he recalls. 

To remove the cancer, Lambert became one of the first in the world to undergo surgery using the latest model of the Synaptive Modus 5. It’s robotic arm is derived from technology used on the international space station. Instead of harboring tools to repair satellites, this movable arm contains a digital microscope.

"With this new technology we can have the best imaging, the best views, and the best way to operate on our patients in the brain, the spine, in ways that we could not before," explains Florida Hospital neurosurgeon, Dr. Raul Olivera. He maneuvers the robotic arm using a special wand. Within its bright matter software system, pre-loaded MRI images of nerve tracks in the brain can be accessed in real time. This allows surgeons to navigate around critical structures while operating on the brain.
            
"Overall, it’s going to improve all kinds of cases:  tumors, vascular malformation, strokes, and even traumatic injuries," says Dr. Olivera.  The enhanced precision may lead to a faster recovery. 

"I was able to do the alligator chomp, which was my alma mater and watch the national championship football game within 2.5 hours after the surgery," says Lambert.  Four days after the procedure he was back to work. 
            
Dr. Olivera said this is just the beginning.

"It's is not what it brings now only.  It is what it holds for the future that has me excited more than anything."  

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