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First awake brain surgery in Romania conducted in Bucharest

Romanian doctors have reported a first in the country’s public healthcare system: their first awake brain surgery.

The surgery was conducted at the Colentina Clinical Hospital of Bucharest.

The hospital says in a press statement released on Friday that the patient is a 48-year-old woman with a tumour that covered her primary motor cortex, primary somatosensory cortex and the area in charge with hemispatial perception.

“The anaesthetists involved – anaesthesia and intensive care primary physician Lelia Iliescu and anaesthesia and intensive care specialist Adriana Badea – played a key part, making it possible for the surgeons to operate on a wide awake patient who was talking, laughing and jotting on paper,” the statement says.

“This is the most spectacular anaesthetics technique: the patient is initially given full IV anaesthesia, neuromonitoring and neuronavigation are set and the surgery starts. When the tumour is reached, some 20-30 minutes afterwards, the patient awakes. During the brain surgery, which lasted four hours, the 48-year female patient was wide awake, very cooperative while undergoing various tests to assess her motor and sensorial functions so as to get the size of the resection so that no deficits would be left instead,” doctor Iliescu is quoted in the statement as saying.

The surgery is reimbursable by the Healthcare Insurance House, and the patient did not have to contribute any co-payment.

“The most important thing for the success of such complex an operation is a comprehensive team of neurosurgeons, neuroanaesthetists, a neurologist with a background in electrophysiology as well as well-trained nurses and perfect cooperation as ours was,” Badea explained.

Also taking part in this surgery first were neurosurgeons Ionut Gobej and Dorin Bica, neurologist Laura Craciun and nursing teams from the intensive care and neurosurgery departments and the surgical unit.

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