Minimally invasive operation helps stroke patients - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Minimally invasive operation helps stroke patients

California doctors have developed a minimally invasive way to treat strokes and save lives.

When a blood vessel bursts in the brain, it can be fatal, or leave devastating damages. In many cases, open brain surgery is required to remove the blood. But, the operation is risky, and could cause even more brain swelling.

Now, Dr. Neil Martin, a neurosurgeon at UCLA is pioneering a minimally invasive way to reach the hemorrhage.

"It involves a very precise insertion of a suction catheter that is guided using a GPS-like system to a specific target inside the blood clot, Martin said. "So, there's not an incision in the brain, there's just a small tract where the device is inserted."

To do something this precise without opening the brain, doctors first take CT scans of the brain to map out the point of entry. The computerized 3D images are then loaded into a computer and guide the surgeons to the blood clot through a robotic probe. The idea is to relieve the pressure by removing all the pooled blood from the hemorrhage.

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