Tidelands Health becomes first in South Carolina to use cutting-edge technology to perform advanced brain tumor surgery

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on October 05, 2021

Tidelands Health becomes first in South Carolina to use cutting-edge technology to perform advanced brain tumor surgery

Tidelands Health is the first in South Carolina to use state-of-the-art cranial robotics technology to perform a brain tumor biopsy that is less invasive and drastically reduces a patient’s recovery time.

Dr. Oluwaseun OmofoyeUsing the new Medtronic Stealth Autoguide Cranial Robotic Guidance Platform, Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye, a neurosurgeon at Tidelands Health with expertise in robotic-assisted procedures, performed the 75-minute surgery on John Gindek of Murrells Inlet, an 88-year-old patient who was initially hospitalized after a seizure.

The successful surgery at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet ushers in a new level of care in the health system’s expanding neurosciences division.

“This is a milestone moment for patients throughout our region who will now have access to state-of-the-art procedures for brain tumors close to home. It allows patients to remain connected to their local support network, which is so crucial for patient recovery,” Dr. Omofoye said. “Our team is excited to start offering this technology because we see the many benefits it offers our patients. It’s a testament to what we are capable of doing here. This is just the first step in an aggressive long-term plan to be our region’s leader in neurosciences care as demand for these services continues to grow.”

Acting like a GPS for surgeries, the Stealth technology links a patient’s brain MRI with their skull in real-time, providing accurate image guidance during brain surgery. The robotic platform uses that data as a precise guide for the neurosurgeon to insert the needle into the brain to extract needed tissue for testing. The procedure only requires a roughly 3-millimeter entry point into the skull, and there’s nearly no blood loss during the surgery. The technology may also allow a neurosurgeon to remove some of the tumor matter while performing the biopsy.

Prior to this technology, a brain biopsy would require a physician to burrow a dime-sized hole in the skull and open it up to access the tumor for biopsy, creating more blood loss and a longer recovery for the patient.

“This technology allows for a much less invasive and precise surgery, and the patient’s recovery time is much shorter,” said Dr. Omofoye, who used this technology on the West Coast before bringing that expertise to Tidelands Health in August.

Following the biopsy, Gindek was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and will be undergoing treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation. During the surgery, Dr. Omofoye removed some of the tumor matter, which relieved some of the pressure on the brain. That allowed Gindek to quickly regain some of the functions in his left arm that had been lost after the seizure.

“I’m very, very pleased with the operation,” Gindek said. “I had no after effects with anything. I came out of this one with no sore throat, no discomfort. All in all, I would say it was a grand success. It’s amazing actually. I feel good.”

When Dr. Omofoye told Gindek he’d be the first patient in South Carolina to undergo the procedure using this technology, Gindek said, “Oh, that blew my mind. I don’t know that I’m special, but I think he’s special.

“He’s a gem. He had me at ease from Day One. He’s very well spoken. I was really quite impressed with him.”

And Gindek had some advice for others who might be the next candidates for the procedure using this latest technology: “Don’t be afraid. Be happy.”

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.