Cutting-edge equipment transforms how neurosurgeons operate at RMCH

BRAND new, pioneering equipment is now being used by paediatric neurosurgeons at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and will transform how neurosurgery is performed at the Hospital.

The £300k investment into the new neuronavigational machine, BrainLab Curve 2 is described as a ‘satnav for the brain’ and provides a powerful and versatile image guided display for surgeons whilst operating.

Before an operation takes place, a scan is taken of the brain which is reflected onto the machine in 3D. This accurately displays where the tumour is and allows neurosurgeons to operate safely without impacting on any other areas of the brain.  The new software, also for the first time allows surgeons to undertake the operation virtually as pre-operative planning, by virtually removing the tissues needed to approach a surgical target, just as it would be done in the operation.

RMCH is the first in the country to invest in this equipment, in both adult and paediatric hospitals – putting us at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and allowing us to provide revolutionary care to our patients.

Ian Kamaly-Asl, Professor of Paediatric Neurosurgery at RMCH has already performed a number of operations, alongside colleagues using the equipment.

He said: “The team has used the new Curve 2 system in operations on three children with brain tumours.  The new facilities and functions of the system have already proved invaluable in undertaking complex operations successfully. 

“We always strive to provide the best treatment and care for our patients, doing this as safely as possible. This technology is a real step forward in providing the best care we possibly can by using the best technology available worldwide.”

The cutting-edge equipment links in with two new state of the art microscopes and intraoperative ultrasound machine already in use at the hospital. The equipment will be a key tool for a number of neurosurgical procedures and will approximately benefit more than 100 patients a year at RMCH. 

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity has previously supported the department’s Brainlab equipment from a number of donations, to provide the software to track actual brain fibre pathways within the brain.  This software has been transferred across to the new system. 

In addition to this, the neurosurgical endowment fund (supported by donations from lots of our supporters and patient families) has been used to purchase a dedicated server to run the planning component of the system.

The Charity is now in the process of fundraising an additional £29,683 for a paediatric neurosurgical augmented reality system for the team. This will allow surgeons to see a 3D model of a child’s condition or problem, which will further aid pre-operative planning and teaching.  It will also significantly improve their ability to give the patient and their family an understanding of the condition and proposed treatments, helping to alleviate some of their fear or anxiety.

Tanya Hamid, Interim Associate Director of Charities for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “This really emphasises what we’re able to provide as a Charity – cutting edge equipment that enables our medical teams to deliver the highest possible standards of care for our young patients.

“We’re incredibly grateful to our generous donors and supporters who help us to reach our fundraising goals.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Charity or make a donation can visit www.rmchcharity.org.uk 

 ENDS