ith the addition of a stereotactic frame
to its existing COMPASS stereotactic technology system, “the neurosurgeons at Winthrop have expanded the parameters of ‘what is operable,’” said Alan Rosenthal, MD, Chief, Division of Neurosurgery, part of Winthrop’s Institute for Neurosciences.
The system is used in several types of neurosurgical procedures, and helps guide neurosurgeons with surgical exploration into the depths of the brain, with great precision. The ring-like device frames the patient’s head during surgery, supporting the technology enabling accurate visualization of the intricate structures of the brain. Neurosurgeons can identify abnormal growths, or lesions, in three-dimensional space, facilitating enhanced surgical strategy.
Neurosurgical patients who do not require the frame are treated with Winthrop’s Brain Lab frameless system. Either way, the advanced technology enables neurosurgeons to visualize tumors,
pre-plan, and strategize surgical techniques.
The system is used for a wide range of computer-based stereotactic neurosurgical techniques.
“The acquisition of the stereotactic frame demonstrates Winthrop’s strong commitment to expanding the Neurosurgical Division,” said Dr. Rosenthal.
During 1999, 421 neurosurgical procedures were performed at Winthrop. “This number represents 77% growth since 1991,” said Garry Schwall, RPAC, Chief, Physician Assistant Services/ Administrative Director, Division of Neurosurgery.
To learn more about neurosurgery at Winthrop, call Mr. Schwall at (516) 663-3893.
Stroke Team Offers the Latest Treatments
inthrop’s Stroke Team is participating
in a clinical study of a new medication designed to minimize the long-term
consequences of stroke. The drug must be
administered within three to six hours of the
onset of stroke symptoms.
The drug is an anti-platelet medication that works by discouraging the formation of blood clots, one of the major contributing factors in stroke. Clots are formed when platelets, cells normally found in the blood, clump together. “This medication may reduce platelet aggregation, which would lessen the likelihood of clot formation,” said Elzbieta Wirkowski, MD, Director of Cerebrovascular Disorders at Winthrop.
This investigational treatment is just one weapon in Winthrop’s arsenal against stroke. The Hospital currently administers tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA, to stroke patients who arrive in its Emergency Department within three hours after the onset of symptoms. TPA is a thrombolytic, or clot-busting, agent that had been successfully used to treat heart attacks before gaining Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of stroke.
Because of the short window of opportunity in which to begin treatment of stroke symptoms, it is imperative for patients to go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room if they experience any of the warning signs of a stroke. Warning signs, which often come on suddenly, could include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion,
trouble speaking or understanding, difficulty with walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or severe headache with no known cause.
This month, Winthrop is partnering with the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, and other area healthcare providers to launch “Operation Stroke.”
“Our goal is to raise public awareness of stroke’s warning signs and to educate both medical professionals and the lay public about the importance of seeking immediate medical attention,” explained Stephanie Manzella, RN, MS, ANP, Stroke Nurse Coordinator at Winthrop.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Six hundred thousand Americans have strokes each year, according to the American Stroke Association.
“We take an aggressive approach to stroke
management, with a Stroke Team member on call 24-hours-a-day,” said Dr. Wirkowski. “We offer patients the most advanced therapies available,
and access to clinical trials of newly emerging
treatments. And our commitment extends to
helping patients and caregivers cope through
our professionally led Stroke Support Group.”
For additional information on stroke management at Winthrop, call (516) 663-9098.