To main content

1995: Technology teams up with brain surgery

Interdisciplinary cooperation between technologists and surgeons has resulted in equipment for more precise removal of brain tumours.

Neurosurgeon Geirmund Unsgård steers his instruments through the brain, guided by three-dimensional ultrasonic images. Photo: SINTEF/Ole Hesledalen

The new equipment has its roots in close collaboration between SINTEF, NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital.

It offers detailed 3D images of the brain and a detailed map that is updated throughout the operation. As a result, brain tumours can be removed with greater precision than before.

Norwegian product

The system is produced by the SINTEF spinoff company SonoWand in Trondheim.

By 2010, more than five thousand patients had been operated for brain tumours with the aid of the new equipment, which has been installed in Heidelberg University Clinic, the Caroline Hospital in Stockholm and the prestigious Charing Cross Hospital in London, to name but a few.

In early 2012, the company had also just received the approval of the American medical authorities for sales in the USA.

Easier to remove the entire tumour

Neurosurgeon Geirmund Unsgård at St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim has performed the largest number of operations using the new equipment.

He explains that it is not always easy to distinguish between healthy tissue and tumours, but that this tool offers accurate information about the boundary between them, making it easier to remove the entire tumour.

According to Unsgård, the ability to navigate accurately also means that patients for whom there would previously have been no hope can now be treated.