Swedish Neuroscience Institute Completes Major New Site for Advanced Neurosurgical Procedures

Swedish Neuroscience Institute Completes Major New Site for Advanced Neurosurgical Procedures

SEATTLE, Feb. 12, 2007 – The Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) today opened a $30 million clinical complex at Swedish Medical Center's Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) Campus. Centerpieces of the new facility are four state-of-the-art operating rooms (ORs) that feature the most advanced minimally invasive, computer-assisted neurosurgical and brain-imaging technologies.

Located on the B Level of the new South Building addition at 17th Ave. and Jefferson St., the operating rooms are 900 square feet each. Four rooms open today and four others are shelled in for future expansion. All are adjacent to the cardiovascular operating rooms in Cherry Hill's modern surgical pavilion.

"This new facility allows us to perform procedures with new integrated technologies that are not available together anywhere else in the country," said Marc R. Mayberg, M.D., SNI co-executive director. "In the neurosciences, there are many new minimally invasive approaches to treating brain tumors, head trauma, stroke, spinal disorders and chronic diseases such as Parkinson's – and now we can employ them all in Seattle."

SNI's comprehensive diagnostic and surgical capabilities include:
• Integrated, GPS-like guidance systems built into every OR that help surgeons navigate in critical areas of the brain during operations
• Intraoperative MRI and CT scanners and 3-D angiography that provide vital images during surgery
• Brain-mapping capabilities to identify areas of critical brain function through microelectrode recordings of brain tissue
• Interventional neuroradiology techniques to block blood flow to tumors or blood-vessel malformations prior to surgery, place stents (small wire mesh tubes used for keeping vessels open) in narrowed brain arteries and repair cerebral aneurysms

"We have created a center that relies heavily on interventional radiology, endoscopic procedures and other less-invasive technologies, so procedures can be done with less risk and patients can go home as quickly as possible," said David Newell, M.D., SNI co-executive and medical director. "For that reason, we needed to invest in the most sophisticated imaging and guidance systems available today."

Four of the major innovations incorporated into the new SNI ORs include:

PoleStar™ interoperative MRI image guidance. This advanced technology from Medtronic Navigation produces real-time interior MRI images of the brain during surgery, so a neurosurgeon can more accurately detect and evaluate tumor boundaries while avoiding healthy tissue. This technique, which is used for both malignant and benign brain tumors, significantly improves effectiveness of tumor removal, lowers the risk of surgery, and decreases the likelihood of the need for additional surgery. The mobile PoleStar system is mounted on a motorized cart and is easily stored in a special walk-in closet when not in use. The MRI's magnet is completely shielded, so the operating room can be used for other procedures not requiring interoperative imaging.

Storz OR-1™ Integration System. This system allows all of the information available to the surgeon to be integrated and displayed on ceiling-mounted LCD screens for continuous access by the OR team, including pre-operative and intra-operative images, operating microscope views, navigation, and anesthesia monitoring. In addition, the surgeon can transmit images outside the OR for teaching other surgeons, or to consult with colleagues if necessary. Large LCD screens in the rooms also allow clinical visitors, medical students and others to observe a surgery without disrupting the operative field. For the first time, this technology allows all the information critical to a procedure to be instantaneously available at the surgeon's fingertips.

CereTom™ portable computed tomography (CT) scanner. This new technology allows physicians to do brain scans on critically ill or injured patients in ORs, emergency departments or intensive-care units without moving them. Developed by NeuroLogica of Danvers, Mass., CereTom™ gives physicians quick access to high-quality CT images of patients' internal tissues and blood vessels in the cranium. This is particularly valuable in cases of severe head trauma or stroke, where "time to treatment" is critical in saving a patient's life, or in situations where moving a patient to an imaging suite before or after surgery could prove fatal. CT scanning is especially helpful for cerebral arterial and cerebral vascular cases, plus deep-brain stimulation procedures for Parkinson's disease.

• Biplane 3-D neuro-interventional suite. This technology is the most advanced system in the Pacific Northwest for advanced diagnostics and interventional treatment of brain lesions including cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, intracranial vessel narrowing, and brain-tumor embolization. Advances in technology including devices such as coils (small-diameter wire for packing cerebral aneurysms to prevent or stop them from bleeding) and stents and new embolic materials that can be introduced through the cerebral vessels can eliminate the need for surgery in many cases. In cases where surgery is needed, such as arteriovenous malformations, selective vessel embolization with micro catheters can make the surgery safer. The Swedish facility is one of the first in the world to bring this angiogram capability into the OR.

SNI was established in 2004 with the goal of becoming the pre-eminent neuroscience provider in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Today, the Institute is recognized internationally and treats more than 6,000 patients each year from all over the world. A significant percentage of Swedish's neuroscience patients hail from outside the medical center's typical Western Washington service area.

Members of the SNI care team include neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, rehabilitation-medicine and pain specialists, neuroendocrinologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, specially trained neuroscience nurses, and many other ancillary and support personnel. A new Neuroscience ICU and a dedicated Neuroscience nursing floor were completed in 2005. The Institute now treats patients suffering from brain and spinal cord tumors, stroke, aneurysms, spinal disorders, epilepsy, movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and related conditions.

Work on the new SNI facility began in fall 2005. Callison of Seattle was the project architect and Lease Crutcher Lewis was the general contractor.

For more information on SNI, call 206-320-4144 or 1-800-331-1733 or visit www.swedish.org

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About Swedish
Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1910, it now has more than 7,200 employees and a medical staff of more than 2,300 physicians, most of which are private practitioners. Swedish now encompasses three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) and Ballard – totaling 1,245 licensed beds, a new freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics located throughout the Greater Seattle area. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, call 1-800-SWEDISH (1-800-793-3474) or visit www.swedish.org

Media Coverage

  • To read a related article that was posted on the Puget Sound Business Journal Web site on Feb. 13, click here.
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