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Surgeons pioneer brain treatment

28 October 09 13:20 GMT

Southampton University Hospitals Trust surgeons say they are pioneering a new type of brain surgery through the nose.

The technique will be used to remove skull based tumours and mean surgeons can avoid cutting a patient's skull.

The operation, called endonasal endoscopic skull base surgery, has been pioneered at Southampton General Hospital.

Surgeons Nijaguna Mathad and Salil Nair have carried out operations at the hospital's Wessex Neurological Centre.

Consultant skull base neurosurgeon Mr Mathad and ENT surgeon Mr Nair performed the operation with the help of an endoscope, a small tube that transmits images onto a high definition TV screen in the operating theatre.

'Short stay'

Previously, neurosurgeons would have had to perform the operation by splitting the facial skeleton or peeling back scalp and removing the skull on the forehead.

Mr Mathad said: "This minimal access and maximal invasive procedure is at the cutting edge of neurosurgery."

One of the first patients to receive the treatment would have otherwise had to undergo a procedure which carried a risk of epilepsy or stroke.

Mr Mathad added: "By using the endonasal endoscopic procedure, we were able to reach the tumour with minor disturbance to the surrounding parts of the brain and did not need to make incisions on the head, which would have resulted in a longer hospital stay.

"The patient made an uneventful recovery and was discharged from hospital within 48 hours, which was a truly short stay for such a major procedure."

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