KGH Auxiliary purchases new surgical equipment

News / Technology / Stroke and Neurological Care / Surgical Care
By John Pereira

Neuronavigation systems will aid surgeons during complex brain and spine procedures

Surgical teams at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) now have the latest technology at their fingertips when performing delicate brain and spine surgeries. Two new neuronavigation systems are now in place in the Operating Rooms at Kingston General Hospital thanks to a recent $350,000 donation from the KGH Auxiliary.

A neuronavigation system is essentially a powerful computer system with sensors, cameras and instruments. During a surgery, it creates a 3D mirror image of a patient’s skull, brain or spine on a nearby computer screen. It also displays and tracks the exact location of the end of the tool, pointer, or screw the surgeon is using, which allows them to carry out incredibly precise procedures.

“During a brain operation, this system guides us directly to the tumour without creating a larger opening than is needed. It also helps us decide whether we have reached and removed the entire tumour in real time,” says Dr. D.J. Cook, KHSC neurosurgeon. “It also allows us to see the parts of the brain we need to avoid, including the areas responsible for motor functions, speech and memory.”

The KGH Auxiliary decided to purchase the equipment using the money it raised through the operation of its café, gift shop, tuck shop, lottery booth as well as other fundraising activities. In fact, the Auxiliary donates close to $500,000 annually to the hospital. 

“Each year we look at the list of equipment and technology the hospital is looking to purchase and we try to pick out items that will have the biggest impact on the patient’s overall hospital experience,” says Sandra Fletcher, KGH Auxiliary President. “This year we decided to go big and purchase this technology to support patients who need brain or spine operations.”

The purchase also aligns with KHSC’s goal to transform the patient and family experience through innovative approaches to care.

“We want to thank the Auxiliary for their continued support of our hospital as well as our patients and families,” says President and CEO Dr. David Pichora. “Through technology such as this we are well positioned to be one of the province’s leading centres for complex-acute and specialty care.”

KHSC already had a neuronavigation system in place at its KGH site, but the new systems quickly bring the hospital up to speed with the latest technology.

“The neurosurgery team at KGH has been doing some amazing things over the past few years and this new system will help us as we aim to deepen our expertise even further,” says Dr. Cook. “It’s an incredibly timely and very generous gift from our Auxiliary members and it’s going to make a big difference for our patients and families.”