Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center:
A Team Approach to Individualized Care
Pioneers in computer-assisted techniques for brain tumor surgery since the mid-1980s, the Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center's surgeons have extended the scope of operable brain tumors by using techniques such as:
- frame of frameless stereotaxy (to provide a fixed frame of reference to assist with computerized navigation for locating brain tumors)
- laser surgery - AutoLITT/NeuroBlate
- skull base techniques
- endoscopic surgery
- computer-assisted brain tumor surgery
- radiation implants
The precision surgical navigation systems by Cleveland Clinic's Center for Computer-Assisted Neurosurgery has resulted in substantial reduction of wound and neurologic morbidity, length of surgery, hospital costs, and length of stay for much benign and malignant tumor surgery. The brain tumor surgeons, who are interested in surgical navigation, work with the Department of Neurosurgery to use navigation equipment from several manufacturers.
In recent years, Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeons have continued the pursuit of cutting-edge brain tumor surgery technology with the advance use of intraoperative MRI. The newly upgraded device weighs only 1,300 pounds - a fraction of the weight of conventional units. During brain surgery for tumor removal the MRI is stowed below the operative field, or in a side room allowing many conventional surgical instruments to be used. When imaging is required, the magnets are raised into position, or roll in through embedded ceiling rails to surround the patient's head for up-to-the-minute scans. When not required during brain surgery, the imager is placed in a magnetically shielded cage in the corner of the room, or the unit rolls back into a shielded side room, allowing for the room to be fully used for conventional procedures. The systems have their own integrated navigation system, allowing the brain tumor surgeon to track and manage changes in the brain's shape during the actual surgical procedure, making more complete tumor removal possible in some cases than with navigation alone.
State-of-the-art imaging technology in the operating theater. This portable MRI enables scans to be performed during the operation.
This system will provide the surgeons with more robust capabilities to navigate through the brain, provide more flexibility in patient positioning and selection, and allow us to merge high-resolution preoperative images with those acquired in brain tumor surgery. Also, the advanced design of this brain surgery system produces intraoperative images of great quality.
These technologies allow for brain surgeon leadership in an important new procedure for delivering certain drugs to brain tumors - convection enhanced delivery - where drugs are slowly, continuously pumped through the brain substance over days. Cleveland Clinic brain tumor surgeons work closely with companies such as BrainLab and NeoPharm to develop this new field in terms of safety and efficacy.
To schedule an evaluation with a Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center specialist, please call our Appointment Center at 216.636.5860 or toll-free at 866.588.2264.