How to do brain surgery?
Brain surgery can be understood as surgery on the brain and spinal cord. Here, you may ask: How can spinal cord surgery be included in brain surgery? In fact, the spinal cord is also part of the central nervous system in the scientific classification. The central nervous system referred to by neuroscientists or psychologists refers to the system composed of the brain and spinal cord.
Now we have a certain understanding of brain surgery, but in fact, brain surgery is far more complicated than we thought. There are even specific fields under it, such as the neuro-oncology field that we often see on TV, and the less common pediatric neurosurgery, functional neurosurgery, and neurovascular surgery. This also makes many neurosurgeons only choose one field. However, no matter what field of surgery, doctors often need the assistance of microscopes and robots.
When doctors start performing brain surgery, they first need to cut off one of the hardest bones: the cranium. After the operation, they will “nail” the cranium back. After cutting the cranial bone, the doctor will perform surgery on the brain, but it needs the assistance of a scanner and a microscope to accurately locate the part of the brain. After all, compared with other surgical procedures, brain surgery has a lower fault tolerance rate.
If the site to be operated on is deep in the brain, a brain endoscope is needed. Unlike the endoscope used for visceral examination, this type of endoscope is specifically used for brain surgery. The doctor delivers the endoscope into the brain through other openings on the skull or nose, etc., by hand or with a machine. The “tube” of the endoscope is equipped with a very small ultra-clear camera and equipped with tools that can perform operations. , Enabling doctors to perform brain tumor removal surgery directly outside the skull.
Today, with more advanced technology, doctors have another advanced surgical tool called “gamma scalpel”. However, it is not a knife that can be held directly, but a laser that can be controlled.
The laser has powerful energy, enough to destroy any organic tissue in front of it, including tumors. However, a laser capable of destroying tumors can also harm other healthy tissues. What should we do? We can divide this high-energy laser into many non-invasive low-energy lasers intersecting at the same focal point, and make this focal point coincide with the tumor. In this way, only the energy intensity at the focal point can kill the tissue, so the goal of destroying the tumor without harming other tissues is achieved. The gamma scalpel was also made based on this idea.
But even if neurosurgeons have many years of experience and more advanced surgical tools than ever before, it is not easy for them to perform a brain surgery.
”Dangerous” heavy surgery
Even with such advanced technology assistance, the difficulty of brain surgery that did not seem to decrease, when the doctor brain surgery, still need to face a variety of difficult challenges.
The first is infection. The brain is also one of the organs of the human body. Like other organs, it can also be infected by viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, causing inflammation. Other organs are at risk of being fatal during surgery, not to mention one of the most important human organs-the brain.
Followed by additional injuries during surgery. There are many tiny blood vessels in the brain, so during the operation, the doctor will “block” some brain tissue with forceps to stop bleeding to a certain extent. In this process, the brain will inevitably suffer some damage; in addition, the brain is a very delicate tissue, even physical damage that is invisible to the naked eye will affect the patient’s future brain functions such as language, memory and feeling.
The third is the production of blood clots and the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid. The doctor will take some measures to stop the bleeding during the operation, but this may cause the blood in the blood vessels in other parts of the brain to become blocked and clot into blood clots. Blood clots will in turn affect blood circulation, which in turn affects brain function and postoperative recovery. In addition, the brain is filled with a body fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. Under normal circumstances, cerebrospinal fluid protects the brain, but brain surgery will cause some cerebrospinal fluid to flow out of the brain and affect the brain, which may cause headaches or headaches for patients after surgery. Blurred vision.
Fourth, during the operation, the patient may have sudden epilepsy, especially when the patient is awake. Some brain surgeries keep the patient awake because the brain itself is not painful and the doctor needs to communicate with the patient to further confirm the location of the operation. Just as a sudden sneeze when we cut our hair can make the barber make a mistake, the sudden epilepsy of a patient may also make the doctor’s surgery mistake. It’s okay to get your hair wrong, but the brain damage is irreversible.
Finally, the most serious risk is the failure of the operation. Because the target of brain surgery is the most precise organ of human beings, it is common for the operation to be unsuccessful or even fail. Therefore, neurosurgeons sometimes have to tell the patients’ families bad news.
Although brain surgery doctors will encounter many challenges during surgery, fortunately, with the advancement of technology, such as the aforementioned gamma scalpel, and the continuous development of virtual and augmented reality technologies. These two simulation technologies enable doctors to perform multiple operations on the computer-simulated “you” in advance, and then choose the best option for implementation. The success rate of surgery in the future will be higher and higher.
How to do brain surgery?