Neurosurgery in Germany – priority to precision and sparing brain tissue

31 October 2019 Off By HaberKaraman

Neurosurgical procedures typically pursue two aims. The first one is destroying a pathological locus in the cerebral tissue (for instance, a tumor or metastasis, arteriovenous malformation). The second is sparing the surrounding healthy brain. Only a combination of these two requirements guarantees the desired result of the surgery and smooth postoperative period. Specialists in neurosurgery in Germany work with high-technology devices that facilitate interventions on the brain making them less traumatic and more precise.

The microsized Visualase™ system with MRI guidance

Visualase™ system is the equipment for MRI-guided ablation of tumors (e.g. astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme) in the hard-to-reach brain regions, metastases in the brain, and epileptogenic foci.

Before the operation, localization of the target pathological locus is determined using 3D scans. This stage is called neuronavigation or stereotactic procedure. After that the tiny 3.2 mm hole is made in a skull. A flexible catheter is inserted inside and being gradually moved towards the determined previously stereotactic coordinates.

Once the flexible Visualase™ catheter reaches the affected brain area, a doctor turns on the laser inside it. Releasing energy, the laser gradually heats the undesirable formation to high temperatures and destroys it. After the procedure completion Visualase™ system is removed. Doctor closes small skull and skin defects with single stitches.

Due to the minimal invasiveness and safety of the intervention, a patient typically stays in the hospital no longer than 1-2 days. Postoperative irradiation of the head is not performed as well.

Stereotactic interventions with Cyberknife and Gamma Knife

Neurosurgery in Germany is not limited to invasive surgical interventions. For instance, radiosurgery combines absence of surgical tissue trauma, precise irradiation focusing and efficient destruction of the affected brain zones.

Cyberknife and Gamma Knife are used for treatment of tumors or vascular malformations in the vital brain regions. Radiosurgery is connected with fewer risks and side effects when compared to the conventional neurosurgical procedures. The skull is not opened and a patient stays awake during the whole intervention as the general anesthesia is not performed.

Cyberknife and Gamma Knife systems direct radiation beam on the target region with accuracy up to a tenth of a millimeter. This is achieved due to comprehensive pre-planning with high-resolution MRI or CT scan. The intervention itself is also performed under the visual MR-guidance.

Robotic systems for the surgery assistance – ROSA

In patients with certain diagnoses precision of interventions on the central nervous system may be improved by robotic systems using. ROSA (robotic surgery assistance) does not replace the surgeon’s work but takes over measurements, fine manipulations, and calculations in the course of the stereotactic procedure.

Specialists in the sphere of neurosurgery use ROSA for:

  • Performing biopsy of the cerebral tissue, which includes tissue sampling for the subsequent examination under the microscope.
  • Placing electrodes for the treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS is applied in patients with Parkinson disease who are resistant to pharmacotherapy.
  • Placing electrodes for performing invasive electroencephalography (EEG). The invasive EEG is used when the convenient EEG recording fail to provide the valuable diagnostic information. Such situation is typical for people with non-lesional temporal or extratemporal lobe epilepsy.

University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Germany, was the first hospital that has introduced ROSA into the clinical practice and has offered patients benefits of robotic brain procedures.

Undergoing neurosurgical procedures abroad with Booking Health

Planning to undergo treatment in the sphere of neurosurgery in Germany, it is more convenient for the foreigners to seek assistance of Booking Health. The company is the certified provider of medical tourism that arranges treatment in Germany for people from over 75 countries. Booking Health offers experience in knowing peculiarities of German healthcare system along with respect to national and cultural features of patients.

Doctors from Booking Health study and analyse medical reports, and give competent advice on choosing the most appropriate hospital, doctor and treatment technique. Later on, they monitor implementation of the programs of treatment or diagnostics.

Travel managers deal with booking the convenient appointment date, arrangement of flight or bus trip, accommodation booking, visa issuing, providing services of interpreter and translator. Financial professionals control prices of medical services, avoid overpricing and extra fees. These allow saving up to 40-50% of the total cost for the foreigners.

Fill in the “Send request” form on the Booking Health website and be ready to answer call of the coordinating specialist the same day.