In the last 20 years," says Srinivas Chakravarthi, MD,
"neurosciences have advanced dramatically. "Dr. Chak," as his patients call him,
also stressed that in the surgical suite, there's no guessing. "You see the
problem in the brain or spinal cord with such clarity, and quite often, we are
able to use minimally invasive microsurgical techniques to remove spinal tumors
without compromising nerves of the spinal cord."
The same is true with
brain aneurysms. "Caught early enough, we can clip an aneurysm, prevent a
stroke, and if all goes well, the patient will have few, if any lasting
functional deficits," he continues.
McLaren Bay Region has made
a significant investment in constructing and equipping two neurosurgical
operating rooms. The BrainLab is a complete system that integrates all surgical
and diagnostic features needed to perform complex procedures within the skull
and spinal cord.
"We have high-field Magnetic Resonance Imaging and
navigation, and ceiling-mounted fiber-optic central control panels, connected to
computer terminals," says Dr. Chak. "The entire operating room team sees the
procedure, helping the surgeon access the network and in-suite video sources.
Along with a Jackson surgical table and C-arm component of the BrainLab, we can
surgically perform any procedure from the least compromising and most optimal
vantage point. Truly, it's like High Definition Television in the operating
The neuroscience team considers the investment well spent
because it's to the patient's advantage. "We can do the opening approach,
procedure and close at minimal risk to the patient," adds Dr. Chak, who, along
with neurosurgeon Siva Sriharan, M.D., moved to McLaren Bay Region from
Windsor, Ontario in 2005. "This investment allows us to handle epilepsy and
Parkinson's patients, as well as pediatric patients."
"We want our
patients to have confidence that we are prepared for whatever it takes to
restore them to the best functional status, says Dr. Chak. "We have skilled
anesthesiologists, certified nurse anesthetists, and operating and circulating
nurses who have trained extensively on this equipment. And when I enter the
operating suite, my mind is totally focused on the procedure I'm about to
perform. I think any surgeon has to shut everything else out."
it's an emergency, the physicians of Bay Neurosurgery Associates spend about 70%
of their time in consultation with the patient and family before deciding on
surgery. They present surgical options, benefits, and drawbacks, and thoroughly
discuss long-term results and possible complications. "No surgeon can boast that
he's never encountered a complication in surgery, particularly in our field,"
says Dr. Chak. "We're working with delicate, exquisite structures. In the end,
the patient and family must make the treatment decision. We respect and honor