Robots en el cerebro

CALGARY – Cuando Harvey Cushing y William Bovie introdujeron la cauterización eléctrica (que utiliza una corriente de alta frecuencia para sellar los vasos sanguíneos o hacer incisiones) en 1926, su innovación transformó la neurocirugía. Dada la precisión que se necesita para operar un órgano tan delicado como el cerebro, la convergencia de tecnologías mecánicas con el arte de la cirugía impulsó los progresos realizados en el campo.

Los avances neuroquirúrgicos siempre buscan ser minimalistas. Como en cualquier otro campo quirúrgico, cuanto menos interfiere el procedimiento en el organismo, menos probabilidades existen de que afecte la calidad de vida del paciente de manera adversa, y menos tiempo le demandará al paciente retomar una actividad normal.

Este imperativo es aún más pronunciado cuando se trata de procedimientos neuroquirúrgicos sensibles. Tareas como maniobrar pequeños vasos sanguíneos que tienen un diámetro de 1 o 2 milímetros, o remover un tumor cerebral sin dañar el tejido circundante, requiere de tecnologías, como el microscopio quirúrgico y las herramientas de imagen multimodal, que complementan las habilidades de los cirujanos y aumentan sus capacidades.

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