Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Raj Mukherjee discusses the use of tubular retractors to access deep brain lesions. This tool allows smaller incisions and minimal trauma to the surrounding brain. Mukherjee’s team analyzed data from 50 patients who had surgery using tubular retractors and saw a trend toward shorter recovery time, fewer complications and overall better quality of life.
Hello. My name is Roj mccurry and I'm one of the neurosurgeons at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center where my focus is on the surgical treatment of patients with brain tumors. The treatment of patients with brain tumors has historically been quite challenging, especially from a surgical perspective because there are so many parts of the brain that are so eloquent. There are parts of the brain that have to do with our memory, our speech, our mobility, our personality, much of who we are as human beings and how we interact with our loved ones in the world. Accessing deep brain tumors is particularly challenging because we need to avoid damage to some of those nearby structures while obtaining a diagnosis and decompressing a tumor. Recently, in the last five years, there have been new technological advances in neurosurgery that have allowed us to access some of these deep brain lesions through tubular retractors that allow us to have smaller incisions and minimal trauma to the surrounding brain. My team recently published the largest series to date using these tubular retractors. We identified 50 patients over the course of approximately five years that underwent surgery with the tubular retractor. Approximately half of these patients had primary brain tumors including glioblastoma. And the other 50% included other primarily brain tumors including brain metastases, as well as intracranial hemorrhages. We found an exceedingly high rate of appropriate diagnostic tissue more than 90% in these cases and 80% or more of our patients actually had a gross total resection of their tumor. The complication profile was similar to historical controls in patients that had larger surgeries. But we found that there was a trend towards shorter hospital stay and better quality of life with less complications and less new post operative deficits. There's a lot of promise that using this technology will allow patients to have smaller incisions, a quicker recovery time, less complications and better quality of life.