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Functional and Stereotactic Procedures

Wayne State University University Physician Group Neurosurgery employs a variety of techniques and groundbreaking innovations when dealing with functional and stereotactic procedures.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation involves the insertion of a small device into a patient, which then sends electrical impulses to areas of the body. Through this process, individuals with conditions such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and tremor can see marked and lasting improvement.

The procedure consists of the placement of three items. The first of these is the implanted pulse generator, or IPG. This is the device that sends electrical pulses to the brain. These pulses are the event that can bring relief, but there must be a way to transfer the pulse to the specific area of the brain which needs the stimulation.

To do this, the IPG is connected to what are known as leads by a small, thin wire. Leads are small electrodes connected together by coiled wire which are placed directly on one of three areas of the brain. These are the implements that provide the electrical pulse that IPG provides, and by doing this, neural activity that is causing the patient's condition can be blocked or interfered, allowing relief from pain and discomfort.

Pallidotomies and Thalamatomies

These are two procedures that are also utilized in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In these procedures, small parts of the brain, or small concentrations of brain cells, are ablated to reduce brain activity in the area. Through these processes, dyskinesias and tremor are reduced. The procedures are used when deep brain stimulation is not an option.

Frameless Stereotactic Systems

Our stereotactic approaches can also be effective when dealing with brain tumors. Using Leksell and other stereotactic / Gamma Knife systems, a concentrated amount of gamma rays can be directed to a specific area of the brain, destroying cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the brain unaffected. Furthermore, we employ a 3D Stealth system, which allows us to map the entire brain, pinpointing the exact areas where gamma rays will be most beneficial. This type of procedure involves no incisions, and can reduce hospital stays after the procedure to as little as 24 hours.

These stereotactic procedures can also be effective in the treatment of arteriovascular malformations, chronic pain, and trigeminal neuralgia.

Intraoperative MRI

We utilize an intraoperative MRI at Harper Hospital, which allows our surgeons unparalleled views of the operation area, providing near real-time and in-depth MRI images during the procedure. By having a better view of the area in question, our doctors can provide greater precision during surgery, which often results in better surgical outcomes and less patient recovery time.

Endoscopic Procedures

We also employ endoscopic procedures for functional neurosurgical problems, including pituitary disease and arteriovascular malformations. The endoscope is also used in intraventricular approaches, including third ventriculostomies, which can be effective in re-starting the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the case of hydrocephalus.

Endoscopic procedures involve only very small incisions, which allow for faster recovery times and less discomfort after treatment.