Two University of Toronto researchers are at the centre of the world’s first robot-assisted brain surgery, testing a system that could allow them to operate remotely on stroke and aneurysm patients in the near future.
Vitor Mendes Pereira and Timo Krings, both professors in U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and members of the AVM and aneurysm program at the University Health Network’s Krembil Neuroscience Centre, placed a stent and 14 coils deep inside the brain of a 64-year-old woman to treat an aneurysm, according to the Globe and Mail. The procedure, performed at Toronto Western Hospital, took about two-and-a-half hours and the patient was discharged the following day.
Krings said the system can prevent hemorrhages and remove blockages involved in a stroke. “Rather than bringing the patient to the physician … we are having now the opportunity with this robot to bring the physician’s expertise to the patient,” Krings told the Globe and Mail.
Pereira adds the robotic system brings precision and control to these procedures. “It opens the door to do remote procedures … in communities [where] they don’t have this type of treatment and don’t have the personnel to perform these procedures,” he said.