Now there is a way to treat the most serious kinds of brain tumors and stroke while preserving brain function, which was previously thought impossible. The new surgical technique uses a tool called BrainPath. Legacy Emanuel is one of only 11 U.S. hospitals, and the only in the Northwest, to offer BrainPath technology.
The benefits of BrainPath
For all patients, BrainPath offers:
- A minimally invasive option which means faster recovery from surgery
- Preserved brain function needed for short-term memory and abilities such as seeing in three dimensions and distinguishing left from right
- The ability for a surgeon to go deeper toward the center of the brain to treat hemorrhagic strokes and tumors previously considered inoperable
Benefits for patients with brain tumors
BrainPath is transforming the way Legacy Cancer Institute treats brain tumors by using the revolutionary BrainPath technology and ultra-precise Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery. These technologies offer new hope to brain cancer patients with tumors that used to be considered inoperable.
- BrainPath offers an important new treatment option for patients with gliomas, which tend to grow and infiltrate into the normal brain tissue. BrainPath provides a new, much safer way to reach and remove the tumor that minimizes damage to the brain’s white matter.
- Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery js a radiation therapy that can reach a tumor without damaging the brain. Learn more about Gamma Knife.
- When used together, these tools are even more powerful. BrainPath allows the neurosurgeon to remove tumors deep in the brain. Gamma Knife radiation therapy is used as a follow-up treatment, to target any remaining cancer cells in the area where the tumor had been.
Benefits for hemorrhagic stroke patients
This revolutionary new technique offers hope of a better recovery for the approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. that are affected by hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke, often deep in the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke can result in significant brain damage, paralysis and even death. Learn more about hemorrhagic stroke.
By protecting the brain’s white matter during surgery, BrainPath allows a neurosurgeon to remove a blood clot and minimize further damage to the brain. Because it decompresses the white matter tracts that were compressed during the stroke, it also helps restore brain function that was previously thought lost during a hemorrhagic stroke.
A new way of thinking
Conventional thinking was that people with large blood clots or bleeding strokes should not be operated on because surgery would have caused too much damage to the healthy parts of the brain. BrainPath makes surgery possible because it minimizes further brain damage.
In addition, new, more revealing CT imaging suggests that the bleeding from stroke does not stop the brain’s white matter fibers from functioning; it simply displaces them, and if surgery can be done without harming these fibers, the brain function may return. Detailed imaging before and after BrainPath surgery supports this thinking.
Jefferson Chen, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, FCCM, medical director, Trauma Neurosurgery