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New robotic surgery tool eliminating brain lesions at Phoenix hospital

PHOENIX — A first-of-its-kind neurosurgery tool will hopefully save lives at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The old robotic cranial surgery tool could get surgeons to 0.2 millimeters of a tumor or seizure focus.

“This give us 0 to 0.2,” Dr. David Adelson, neurosurgery chief at the hospital’s Barrow Neurological Institute, said of the Medtronic Stealth Autoguide. “It really increases our accuracy, especially in small lesions” in children’s brains.”

The new device is handheld, making it easier and faster to operate.

“We can place it over that area and then — in a very short period of time — give us the accuracy for entry and trajectory and targeting all in one,” Dr. Adelson said.

That means less anesthesia needed for already-suffering children.

Lasers will melt tumors or seizure focuses without harming larger areas of the brain.

“This opens up a lot of opportunities for patients that previously didn’t have the opportunity to have their seizures cured or their tumors cured,” Dr. Adelson said.

He predicts his hospital will welcome patients from Arizona, across the country and beyond for this minimally invasive treatment.

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