New Tool Eases Pain In Brain Surgery - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


New Tool Eases Pain In Brain Surgery

Paul Santos is a proud member of the US Navy. Four months ago, he faced a huge challenge that could have threatened his career and his life. He was having trouble with his vision. Turns out the problem was a painful cyst in his brain.

Doctors said he needed a craniotomy, which means cutting a large hole into his skull. Now, here's what's new. At UCLA, surgeons are using a new tool to make that brain surgery much easier on the patient.

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"We're making a tiny hole, probably the size of a nickel, through the bone itself, so there's a little incision," says Dr. John Frazee, a neurosurgeon at UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Frazee developed this small endoscope, which has taken brain surgery from a larger hole to a much smaller hole. The smaller incision means less blood loss, a faster recovery and less pain.

Two days after his surgery, Paul says the pain is gone. "I don't really feel like a million bucks, but I'm almost there. Maybe 750,000 bucks. Still pretty good," says Santos.

The endoscope that Dr. Frazee developed is even named after him. He says this technique can work on many types of brain surgeries, unless the tumor is really large.

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