Sainte-Justine has asked K4K to commit for the long-term funding (4 years – see the proposal HERE) of a new, state-of-the-art neurosurgical laser called the Monteris NeuroBlate MRI System (see equipment brochure HERE). Sainte-Justine is the first pediatric hospital in Canada to acquire this state-of-the-art piece of equipment that will provide added benefits to children.
What’s so exciting about this technology?
The NeuroBlate System employs diode laser energy delivered via a gas-cooled fiber-optic probe, which allows safe targeting and selective ablation of soft tissue and lesions in the brain, including some that may have traditionally been deemed “inoperable”. It is the only system that monitors ablation contours in 3-Dimensions and provides real time imaging to support a surgeon’s clinical decision matrix. This allows to operate the brain without touching the unaffected areas surrounding the epileptic lesion or tumor and thus, protects the neurodevelopment of the child, which is the main mission of the Integrated Center Network in Neurodevelopment of the Child (CIRENE).
In other words, the device allows a neurosurgeon to see the tumor live on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. He can therefore better see the ablation and use the targeted laser to limit the tissue destruction to the minimum.
To oversee the use of this new technology, the CHU Sainte-Justine has hired Dr. Alexander Weil who is currently the only Canadian pediatric neurosurgeon trained to use this technique. After studying medicine at the University of Sherbrooke, Dr. Weil did his residency at the University of Montreal, then a fellow at the Miami Children’s Hospital (University of Miami) in pediatric neurosurgery and a fellowship in neuro-oncology McGill.
This cutting edge technology provides several key benefits:
- Minimal invasive technique, which result in a shorter hospital stays, less pain medication, faster recovery, minimal scarring and a superior cosmetic result. Indeed, after 24-48 hours, the child can go home and resume normal activities, contrary to conventional surgery where hospitalization could last between 5 and 14 days, and restrictions in activities, one to two months.
- Major savings for our health system since patients no longer need to be admitted to intensive care.
- Greater access to areas of the brain.
- Larger pool of young patients who can benefit from this technique such as children with epilepsy resistant to medical treatment and children with tumors that are difficult to access by conventional surgery
- Some patients with epileptic lesions who could not benefit from conventional surgery may now be treated by laser.
The following video gives a fly through of the new equipment: