About 900 neuroradiologists from around the world tuned in to watch their Turkish colleagues perform minimally-invasive brain surgery at the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Hospital in Istanbul, from the World Live Neurovascular Conference (WLNC) in Kobe, Japan.
The surgeries were performed by Dr. Osman Kızılkılıç, Dr. Naci Koçer, Dr. Saruhan Çekirge and their teams, while Dr. Civan Işlak and Dr. Işıl Saatçi Çekirge coordinated the sessions from Kobe. Anaesthesiologist Dr. Ercan Türeci and his team administered general anesthesia during the operations.
Speaking a day after the live surgeries, Kızılkılıç of Cerrahpaşa’s Faculty of Medicine said, “The fact that we have provided training to doctors in such live conferences for many years shows that Turkey is advanced in the field of neuroradiology, that it’s a leader in the world. There are approximately 20 neuroradiology centers in Turkey, and we have the highest patient volume [when compared to other countries],” pointing out that such procedures cannot be performed in every country.
Dr. Kızılkılıç also said that the 10 surgeries that were streamed live in Kobe were all unique cases in which open surgery was not an option due to high risk. “In one of the cases, we inserted a catheter (thin tube) in the patient’s abdomen to reach the artery to the brain and repair an aneurysm,” he said.
Such methods are quite new in the neurological field. Doctors are increasingly favoring less invasive procedures over traditional open surgeries, as patients recover in a few days instead of months and have less chance of experiencing cognitive deficits.
An aneurysm is a localized, abnormal weak spot in a blood vessel that causes it to balloon out, weakening the artery walls. This “balloon” can eventually leak or burst, leading to severe health issues and possibly death.
During the conference, held on April 25-27, live surgeries were also broadcast from the U.S., Japan, China and Argentina.