At some point in early 2022, as Haytham Almunir received into his good friend’s automobile to hitch him for lunch, he observed the fingers on one among his arms all of the sudden stiffened and caught collectively. He separated them with the opposite hand, however they instantly caught again collectively.
As his good friend drove, he requested Almunir questions. Almunir observed he couldn’t discover the phrases to reply.
“My good friend was asking me questions, however I couldn’t reply. When no phrases have been coming, I received actually scared,” he mentioned.
This lasted for about half-hour. Once they arrived on the restaurant, Almunir’s good friend gave him 5 aspirins, considering it was a stroke. Almunir’s physique slowly returned to regular. However one thing was nonetheless off — his lunch didn’t style good in any respect. His good friend urged him to go to the hospital.
Almunir agreed and drove himself to UC Davis Medical Heart, the place emergency division imaging confirmed he’d had a stroke. Almunir was grateful to have recovered this time — and he wished to do all the pieces he might to scale back his threat of future strokes.
Almunir quickly met UC Davis endovascular neurosurgeon Ben Waldau, who shared that Almunir was experiencing a carotid stenosis, which is a decent artery within the neck. It was stopping ample blood circulation to the mind. Waldau defined that Almunir had two choices: an open plaque elimination from his artery, or placement of a stent in his artery to carry it open. Almunir selected the stent.
His stent was the primary at UC Davis to be positioned by a brand new endovascular robotic. Surgeons used the robotic to navigate an especially skinny wire previous the constriction in his artery and open the artery with a balloon simply extensive sufficient to put the stent. They then exited the artery and eliminated the balloon with out disturbing the stent.
“My first thought was ‘that’s cool.’ I think about a robotic is rather more correct than a human,” Almunir mentioned. “As soon as I knew concerning the robotic, I felt much more assured within the high quality of my surgical care.”
The area’s most complete robotic neurosurgery program
In November 2022, UC Davis Well being added a robotic for cranial procedures akin to deep mind stimulation implants, used for situations akin to Parkinson’s illness. Robots have been already in use for spinal surgical procedures and for endovascular procedures like Almunir’s. Now, the well being system is the primary to supply a complete robotic neurosurgery program within the area.
Surgeons are incorporating these instruments throughout the spectrum of neurosurgical procedures for adults, kids, and even creating infants.
Surgical robots are sometimes used throughout specialties and drive interdisciplinary care, analysis and schooling. For instance, the endovascular robotic and surgical companies are a three way partnership of the Departments of Neurological Surgical procedure and Radiology. The backbone robotic helps the UC Davis Backbone Heart, led by Neurological Surgical procedure, Orthopaedic Surgical procedure, Bodily Medication and Rehabilitation, and Ache Medication.
“It’s essential to know that robotic neurosurgery doesn’t imply there’s a human-like robotic within the room, working by itself,” mentioned Kia Shahlaie, professor and interim chair of neurological surgical procedure. “These are robotic arms. They permit us as surgeons to do issues in a really delicate method. They’re absolutely managed by our surgeons and employees, who’re actively concerned in all parts of the process.”
Robotic neurosurgery doesn’t imply there’s a human-like robotic within the room, working by itself. These are robotic arms. They permit us as surgeons to do issues in a really delicate method. They’re absolutely managed by our surgeons and employees, who’re actively concerned in all parts of the process.”
Robots improve affected person security, lower wait instances
This technological teamwork will increase affected person security and shortens process instances and wait instances. “We’re getting sooner and sooner as we preserve increased accuracy,” Waldau mentioned, noting that for one endovascular process the time has been reduce in half.
Extra correct, minimally invasive strategies result in higher spinal surgical procedure outcomes, too.
“Once we function on backbone sufferers, we fear about what’s going to occur to adjoining vertebrae. For instance, whenever you fuse one a part of the backbone, this places extra stress on close by vertebrae that may trigger future issues that require additional remedy,” defined Kee Kim, chief of spinal neurosurgery and co-director of the UC Davis Backbone Heart.
He says robotic surgical procedure reduces the prospect that sufferers will return sooner or later with further issues.
“Robots are the following evolution of offering higher affected person care — and on the foremost of that is improved affected person security,” Kim mentioned.
Robots are the following evolution of offering higher affected person care — and on the foremost of that is improved affected person security.”
Robots assist the UC Davis academic mission
Waldau finds the endovascular robotic very straightforward to navigate, which makes it match for neurosurgery residents studying in actual time. “For many residents who grew up taking part in video video games,” he mentioned, “navigating the robotic is a really pure subsequent step, and they’re fairly proficient at it.”
UC Davis Well being gives complete schooling in robotic-assisted neurosurgery to residents on this subject.
“Our medical college students and residents see robotic gear serving to sufferers early of their educations as docs,” Shahlaie mentioned. He sees the influence this has. “There are few alternatives every of us has in our lifetime to make one other individual’s life dramatically higher. Inside a number of hours, to have the ability to give somebody new which means to life, to present them the chance to vary their targets, plans and expectations for the remainder of their life is a tremendous honor.”
In Almunir’s case, the robotic surgical procedure ensured he’ll have the well being he must get pleasure from life—together with many extra lunches along with his good friend. Throughout his stent process he obtained acutely aware sedation, which suggests at instances he was awake. “There was a second after I known as Dr. Waldau’s identify. He was proper there. I couldn’t see his face, however he comforted me immediately. This made me really feel protected.”
Almunir is delighted along with his remedy outcomes. “I am going to the fitness center and jog,” he mentioned. “I’m feeling nice.”