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All Children’s Hospital brain docs are first in Florida to use time-saving robotic procedure

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

All Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the state to use the newest generation of robotic neurosurgery technology that cuts what once was a 12-hour surgery down to just two hours.

“Only about 20 hospitals in North America are utilizing the ROSA robot so we are fortunate here at All Children’s Hospital to have this technology to treat some of the most complex brain disorders,” said pediatric neurosurgeon George Jallo, director of the Institute. “The ROSA robot provides our team with a new level of surgical assistance to treat a variety of neurological problems in children.”

Doctors at the new Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences have already begun performing surgeries using Medtech’s ROSA robotic surgical assistant to treat patients with epilepsy.

“Using the ROSA robot helps us advance treatment for patients with severe epilepsy,” said director of epileptology Parrish Winesett. “This new technology not only assists our team in identifying where in the brain seizures may be occurring, but also helps us target these areas with greater precision during surgery to provide families with answers on how to stop the seizures.”

The new technology allows patients to undergo a far less invasive surgery and minimizes the amount of time children have to be under anesthesia. That spells a much more comfortable procedure and one that is not quite as scary for kids and their families.

The process is called stereoelectroencephalography, or sEEG. It works by using a robot to help a neurosurgical team to accurately place electrodes in parts of the brain where abnormal electric activity is suspected. The process helps pinpoint the source of seizures in epileptic patients.

“The robot acts as a navigation system for the brain,” pediatric neurosurgeon Gerald Tuite said. “Our team reviews areas of abnormal brain activity and enters the data into the ROSA robot prior to surgery. During surgery, the robotic arm directs electrodes to a pre-planned path that allows the neurosurgeons to make tiny, precise incisions and remove the areas where seizures occur.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email [email protected]

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