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Top neurosurgical team adds minimally invasive technique to their many surgical technologies for patients with difficult-to-reach or inoperable brain tumours & brain lesions

TORONTO – Krembil Brain Institute is the first healthcare facility in Canada to acquire a Visualase™ Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) system, which uses an MRI-guided laser ablation technique to surgically remove brain cancer and lesions.

"Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy is a novel technology in how we care for brain lesions," says Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, neurosurgeon and Medical Director, Krembil Brain Institute. "We are thrilled that Krembil Brain Institute will now be able to offer this option to our patients." 

Observed in real-time using MRI imaging, LITT uses a laser fibre that generates heat to destroy brain lesions and other diseased brain tissue. LITT is gaining recognition internationally for its ability to manage difficult-to-access and otherwise inoperable lesions, resulting in a shorter length of stay, faster recovery time and less scarring. LITT can also be used in cases of radiosurgery-induced radionecrosis for patients with brain metastases.

"This technology allows for safe, minimally invasive access to areas of the brain that are either impossible or too risky to reach via open surgery," says Dr. Suneil Kalia, neurosurgeon and scientist, Krembil Brain Institute. "In many cases, such as deep brain abnormalities causing epilepsy or tumours found in difficult locations, LITT may be the only treatment option for our patients."

Dr. Kalia is a member of one of the largest teams of functional neurosurgeons in North America. "Our team consists of highly skilled, recognized experts with a wealth and history of experience with safe and accurate targeted delivery into deep and difficult-to-reach areas of the brain," says Dr. Zadeh. "The addition of LITT will help position us as a global leader in advanced technologies to treat various diseases of the brain."

Krembil Brain Institute was able to purchase the LITT technology thanks to several generous donors. "Philanthropy and Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation play a critical role in our ability to continue to lead the field of neurosurgery," says Dr. Zadeh. "The team at Krembil Brain Institute is grateful that people are willing to step forward and help us advance the care of patients."

About Krembil Brain Institute

Krembil Brain Institute at Toronto Western Hospital is home to one of the world's largest and most comprehensive teams of physicians and scientists uniquely working hand-in-hand to prevent and confront problems of the brain and spine. One in three Canadians will experience a brain-related condition such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or stroke in their lifetime. Through state-of-the-art patient care and advanced research, we are working relentlessly to find new treatments and cures.

About Toronto Western Hospital and University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. University Health Network has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. Toronto Western Hospital is the home to the largest team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists and allied health professionals in Canada, with the widest range of expertise and specialty care for neurological diseases www.uhn.ca

For more information or to book an interview with Dr. Zadeh or Dr. Kalia, please contact:

Heather Sherman, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs

Neuroscience | Arthritis | Vision

University Health Network
Phone: 416 603 5294
Email: heather.sherman@uhn.ca


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