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Brain surgery is getting easier on patients
Date:8/20/2008

t Loyola. Despite the complexity of the procedure and the additional risks Shoblaske faced as a heart patient, he experienced no surgical complications or changes in his cognitive abilities. And, his headaches went away. "It was a complete success," he said.

Duckworth has performed more than 50 similar aneurysm repairs at Loyola; at the University of South Florida, where he trained and at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he did a fellowship. Duckworth gave a presentation on the procedure at a recent meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Duckworth also performs less-invasive brain surgeries on epilepsy patients. In this procedure, Duckworth removes a small part of the brain that is triggering seizures. In a recent issue of the journal Neurosurgery, Duckworth and a colleague reported results on 201 of their patients at the University of South Florida. After being followed a minimum of two years, 78 percent were free of the most disabling type of seizures. And only 1.5 percent experienced complications. Patients stayed in the hospital an average of 2.6 days. By comparison, an earlier study found that patients who underwent surgery with a larger opening stayed seven days.

In certain cases, Duckworth can reach the brain by passing instruments through the nose and cutting a 1-centimeter-wide hole in the skull. A surgical instrument goes through one nostril and an endoscope through the other. An endoscope is a tube with a light and a lens. It enables the surgeon to see tissue. Using this technique, Duckworth can remove certain tumors located in the pituitary gland or at the base of the skull.

Duckworth predicts less-invasive brain surgery will become increasingly common because it offers big advantages. "Because the openings are smaller, less brain tissue is exposed," he said. "There's less blood loss. Surgery times are shorter, and patients spend less time in the hospital. It's better cosmetically, too. Smal
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Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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