Neurosurgical Simulation System
The world's first virtual reality brain surgery was performed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. David Clarke, assisted by the neurosurgical residents, removed a brain tumour after using a virtual reality-based neurosurgical simulation system. This advanced technology is tailor made for patient-specific planning - a medical advance not yet available anywhere else in the world.
"The simulator enabled us to map out and perform our surgical plan in virtual reality prior to the actualy surgery," said Dr. Clarke, professor of neurosurgery at Dalhousie Medical School, staff neurosurgeon at Capital Health, member of the Brain Repair Centre, and collaborator in the National Research Council (NRC) project. "This means we are able to do a dry-run of the surgery to better determine how to remove the tumour safely."
The neurosurgical simulator project is spearheaded by the NRC and involves a cross-Canada collaboration of high-profile and nationally renowned clinical collaborators and research scientists in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. NRC is preparing to transfer seven prototypes of the neurosurgical simulator to Canadian hospitals over the next two years.
Simulation Network Newsletter - September 2010
Polestar - Intraoperative MRI
The PoleStar® iMRI Navigation System, a revolutionary compact iMRI and navigation system, provides surgeons with real-time, high-quality images before, during, and after brain tumor surgery. Using these images, the neurosurgeons at the Halifax Infirmary can plan the optimal trajectory of approach to a brain tumor, achieve desired tumor resection while avoiding healthy tissue and critical structures, and verify that they have removed the tumor prior to the patient leaving the surgical suite. As a result, patients undergoing cranial procedures may experience less invasive surgeries, faster recovery times, and improved outcomes. Surgery may now be an option for some brain tumor patients who were previously considered high risk.
The Halifax Injector
The Halifax Injector or Micro Injector System (MIS) was created to address the necessity of transplanting cells into the human brain with safey and precision. The MIS's function is to drive a cannula into the brain, inject cells using a computerized system that allows to carefully program the implantation of cells to any target in the brain. The system can deliver a three dimensional array of the cell deposits with a specific volume and rate of implantation. The three dimensional transplant procedure has been implemented using three servo micro motors. The first enables the syringe to move up and down. The second rotates the needle and the last motor loads or unloads the cells into the syringe.
The Chronicle Herald, December 15, 2008: Surgical Device in Halifax Transplants Stem Cells
Micro Injector Control System
Micro Injector System
Our Robotics Program continued to expand and in early in 2007, we acquired the first remote presence robot in Canada. It is now working in the Halifax Infirmary and is used primarily for patient consultation by the surgeons when they are unable to be at the bedside personally. Reception by the patient population has been very positive and it is becoming a familiar “face” on the floor.
The Remote Presence or RP-7, is a telemedicine robot which allows physicians to be present at the patient bedside, regardless of location or time, in order to deliver expert diagnostic services, opinions and therapy recommendations. This technology enables experts to extend their reach to patients 24/7, and has the potential of providing access to these experts from all regions, decreasing treatment time and reducing the need for transport - ultimately improving patient access to healthcare.
CBC News - Robot in Cape Breton - September 27, 2007
CTV News - Robot in Cape Breton - September 27, 2007
Global News - Robot in Cape Breton - September 27, 2007
Parkinson's Post - "Robo Doc"
Advances in Medicine - "Robodoc does consults from across the Atlantic"
Mailstar -" Robot helps with remote treatment"
Chronicle Herald - Long Distance Diagnosis
The Daily News - Robots give surgeons greater reach
The Cape Breton Post - Paging Dr. Robot
The Ottawa Citizen - Cape Breton adopts robotoc diagnosis
CanWest News Service - Robot doctor can give long-distance diagnosis
Amherst Daily News - Robot on call
Neurosurgery continues to enhance our service with advances in technology. Our most recent contribution of an intra-operative fluoroscope, “O-Arm” is capable of producing CT like 3D images.
The addition of 3-Dimensional imaging in the operating suite improves visualization of the spine and has enhanced our minimally invasive program. In addition, the ability to integrate Image Guided Surgical planning and traditional instrumentation techniques now enables us to perform complex procedures with greater accuracy, and at the same time reducing radiation to the patients and staff.