Celebration Health neurosurgeon is the first in the world to use Mazor robot on the brain
November 21, 2013 – Over the past 5 years, Clarita Beslack of Apopka has been suffering from worsening Parkinson’s symptoms, which have left her almost completely wheelchair bound.
“The walker was getting difficult for me to use and I was just frozen; I couldn’t move my legs at all,” said Beslack. “The medication I was on just wasn’t helping my keep my mobility.”
Fortunately, one of her physicians, Dr. Nizam Razack, Florida Hospital Celebration Health neurosurgeon, informed her of a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation. It puts electrodes in the brain directly on the regions that control the tremors or rigidity in patients allowing them to control their movements. But it can be risky.
“These areas where we place the electrodes in the brain are also very close to the locations that control breathing,” said Dr. Razack. “This surgery has to be exact and the robot increases accuracy by pinpointing the locations the surgeon identified prior to surgery.”
Despite the risks, Beslack moved forward with the surgery and is now looking at her life with new possibilities. She is walking unassisted and she is looking forward to playing with her grandkids and traveling. These may seem like simple goals, but for Beslack, these are major improvements to her current quality of life.
During Beslack’s surgery, Dr. Razack used a robot called the Renaissance™ System developed by Mazor Robotics. Before even scrubbing into the operating room, the doctor maps out where the electrodes in the brain are going to be placed using 3D images and X-rays. The soda can sized robot is placed over the patient’s head then it shows the doctor exactly where to place the electrodes in the patient’s brain during surgery. Because of the mapping done pre-surgery, the physicians don’t need to continually look at live X-rays, so the amount of radiation the staff and patient is exposed to is significantly reduced.
Beslack admits to being nervous about allowing someone to operate on her brain, but now after seeing her mobility increase day-by-day, her dreams of being able to play with her grandchildren and travel seem much closer to reality. Shortly after surgery, Beslack returned to visit her friends at her Florida Hospital Parkinson’s Support Group to talk to them about her experience.
“They are all asking questions about the surgery and some are considering having it done as well,” said Beslack. “One woman said the transformation in me was an inspiration to her. I know it has certainly changed my life for the better.”
For more information on the Mazor Robot at Florida Hospital Celebration Health visit www.celebrationhealth.com/services/neuroscience.