March 21, 2006 07:20 ET Presents: Memorial Hermann The Woodlands' Live Webcast to Feature Brain Tumor Resection -- Surgeon Uses Advanced Intraoperative Guided System

Live Webcast Thursday, April 13 at 5:30 p.m. CDT (6:30 p.m. EDT / 22:30 UTC)

THE WOODLANDS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 21, 2006 -- Each year, approximately 190,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain tumors. While relatively rare, both malignant and benign brain tumors can be life-threatening. For many patients, surgical removal, or resection of the tumor is the first choice for treatment. On April 13 at 5:30 p.m. CDT, Peter M. Shedden, M.D., Chair, Department of Surgery at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, will use an innovative approach to resect a tumor during a live global Webcast from the hospital.

To remove the tumor, Shedden will use StealthStation®, an advanced intraoperative guided system that provides neurosurgeons with a precise roadmap of the tumor and surrounding tissues. After making a curved incision over the location, the surgeon uses a high-speed drill and a saw to remove a small piece of bone above the tumor. Once the dura, or lining of the brain, is exposed, the image-guided StealthStation system is used to confirm the location and depth of the underlying tumor. Shedden will dissect the tumor from normal brain tissue using special microsurgical instruments.

"Using StealthStation can result in greater surgical precision, reduced surgery time and speedier patient recovery," said Shedden. During the live Webcast, Shedden will remove a meningioma. Meningiomas, most often benign, account for approximately 27 percent of brain tumors diagnosed annually. Meningiomas originate from the protective lining around the brain called the meninges. The tumors tend to grow quite large before they cause symptoms such as seizures or loss of function due to local pressure on the brain.

The aim is always to resect the entire tumor. However, when it cannot be completely removed without damaging adjacent brain tissue, the doctor eliminates as much of the tumor as possible. Following the surgery, GammaKnife® radiosurgery is employed. This technology focuses multiple beams of radiation precisely on the remaining tumor to slow the progresssion or eradicate the remaining mass. "Partial removal through surgery helps relieve symptoms by reducing pressure on the brain and reducing the amount of tumor to be treated by GammaKnife," added Shedden.

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