The Section of Neurosurgery at the Health Sciences Centre has a strong skull base and neuro-oncology program that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach and employs the latest technology.
Over the years, skull base surgery has undergone a major transformation, driven by the use of newer technologies including advancements in the operating microscope, intra-operative navigation, intra-operative monitoring, intra-operative MRI, endoscopy and radiosurgery. Indeed, Winnipeg has been a leader in Canada with respect to adopting newer techniques and was the first to acquire and use Gamma Knife radiosurgery in Canada. We have also recently published our initial results with this technique.
In the mid 2000's, we began utilizing endoscopic approaches to treat a variety of skull base tumours, including pituitary tumours, clival tumours, nasal tumours, and other skull base lesions. These procedures often employ close collaboration with our otolaryngology (ENT) colleagues. This initial experience has allowed us to use this technique for more expanded and complex trans-nasal approaches, allowing our patients to receive ultra-specialized care.
Intra-operative monitoring and navigation allows for better visualization and real-time monitoring of critical neural structures. This has allowed us to maximize surgical corridors, enable more complete surgical resections, and maintain the function of the brain, cranial nerves, and other neural tissues.
The Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine (KIAM; ref) suite has completely modernized the neurosurgery operating experience. It allows the surgeon to obtain MRI and digital subtraction angiogram images for use during surgery. For example, patients with brain tumours may have improved rates of resection if imaging is used during surgery.
Moreover, there has been no aspect of skull base neurosurgery that has not changed as a result of Gamma Knife radiosurgery. This technique allows for the delivery of precise radiation at a high dose to a variety of targets to achieve clinical effect. Gamma Knife has a very good safety profile and most patients are treated in a single session. This technique also allows surgeons to modify surgical goals allowing for safer surgery while maintaining efficacy. Please see the information listed under the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery program for further details.