A 77-year-old man in Canberra underwent a surgery to have a life-threatening blister from his brain removed while remaining conscious throughout the operation.
Doctors at the Canberra Hospital, led by neurosurgeon Vini Khurana, claim that they are the first in the world to perform such a procedure. They will soon reveal details of their pioneering procedure.
According to the doctors, the elderly man had been suffering from a life-threatening venous aneurysm, a large blister on a major vein in his brain, behind his right eye that was impairing his vision.
Since the doctors feared that aneurysm could rupture, which is often fatal, they decided to operate the patient despite the blister's risky location.
Dr. Khurana has revealed that while conducting the operation in April, the neurosurgeons used eyepieces that displayed a multi-dimensional MRI scan of the patient's head.
"This is like road navigation images being subtly injected into one's sunglasses while driving," news.com.au quoted him as saying. The procedure was rehearsed using a state-of-the-art microscope and computer-assisted navigation devices to find the aneurysm, while an ultrasound probe was carried out to confirm that it had been cut out.
Dr. Khurana said that since the patient was "awake and interactive" during the surgery, doctors could continually assess his vision, and make sure that the operation was not altering it.
He revealed that the patient was discharged from the hospital within a few days after the surgery. While leaving the hospital, he added, the patient did not show any traces of the aneurysm remaining, and had markedly improved vision.
Dr. Khurana also revealed the hospital has used the technique on other patients also.