BrainPath neurosurgery system
Deep-seated brain tumors and blood clots have long been beyond the reach of neurosurgeons because they risked damaging the surrounding dense and delicate neural structures that control brain and body functions.
Now, UC Irvine Health neurosurgeons — among the first in Southern California to use a sophisticated tool called BrainPath® — offer hope to patients with previously inoperable brain conditions.
The Nico BrainPath device enables a neurosurgeon to navigate between the natural folds and neural structures in the brain, much like a boat moving through water, without cutting or damaging anything else in its path.
The neurosurgeon is able to map the exact location of the tumor or blood clot by combining the device with precision imaging, global positioning technology and high-definition fiber optics. Then, through an opening no larger than a dime, the neurosurgeon can reach and successfully remove the clot or tumor from the deepest recesses of the brain.
How BrainPath works
The neurosurgical team begins with advanced imaging to map in detail the tumor or clot, as well as the tissue and fiber tracts surrounding it.
The imaging is combined with a navigation system to guide the neurosurgeon to the subcortical tumor or blood clot.
Using the imaging and navigation systems, the neurosurgeon enters the brain through a small opening with the BrainPath device. Its cone-shaped sheath slips through the dense and sensitive white matter tracts of neural networks in the brain to the tumor or clot.
With the aid of high-powered optics, the neurosurgeon inserts another automated tool, the NICO Myriad®, through the sheath. The device, which is about the diameter of a pencil, is used to remove only the targeted tissue without injuring nearby brain structures. This may result in less blood loss and faster recovery for patients.
The Myriad device also has a filter to capture the targeted tissue in a sterile and intact form. Clinicians and researchers are then able to study the tissue with an eye toward developing therapies to treat brain abnormalities.
Conditions treated with BrainPath
The BrainPath system is considered a game-changing tool that allows clinicians to safely reach a wide variety of previously inoperable tumors and and intracerebral hemorrhages (blood clots).
- Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly type of malignant brain tumor
- Other primary brain tumors
- Metastatic brain tumors, secondary tumors that occur elsewhere in the body and migrate to the brain
- Intracerebral hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke
- Hemorrhage from traumatic brain injury
For more information on BrainPath and UC Irvine Health neurosurgery services, please call us at 714-456-6966 or toll-free at 855-557-1531.