Friends donate cutting-edge ‘sat-nav’ brain system to Frenchay

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Neurosurgeons at Frenchay Hospital are benefitting from the very latest computer technology that allows them to pinpoint exactly where they are working inside the brain.

The Brain Lab Kolibri system, which costs £175,000, has been bought by the Friends of Frenchay Hospital and works along the same principles as a car’s satellite navigation system.

The cutting-edge technology uses an infrared camera to track the movement of surgical instruments with millimetre accuracy during brain operations.

The system is particularly important in brain tumour surgery as it allows the surgeon to remove tumours from deep within the brain while minimising the risk of damage to other, vital, parts of the brain.

It also includes a highly sophisticated software package allowing neurosurgeons to plan operations from any computer within the Trust. The iPlan Net system is the first to be installed in the country.

A high definition giant digital light box has also been provided as part of the system and is installed in the operating theatre.

This has a multi-touch display that allows the surgical team to instantly access and manipulate digital medical data before and during surgery.

It also displays real time video from the operating microscope enabling the whole surgical team to monitor progress of the operation.

Consultant Neurosurgeon Mr Ven Iyer said: “We are very grateful to the Friends of Frenchay for their extremely generous gift.

“Frenchay has a national reputation for the treatment of brain tumours and the acquisition of this technology means that we can maintain our position as one of the foremost neurosurgical units in the United Kingdom.

“This system will allow us to continue to offer world class neurosurgical treatments for brain tumours to patients in the south west and simply would not have been possible without the generosity and vision of the Friends of Frenchay.

“The Department of Neurosurgery at Frenchay wishes to publicly thank the Friends of Frenchay as well as local people who so generously give to the Friends.”