Updated March 26 at 9:26pm

Five Questions With: Dr. G. Rees Cosgrove

Chief of neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, and clinical director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute, talks about the ways that the BodyTom CT scanner changes the landscape in neurosurgery and research. More

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Five Questions With: Dr. G. Rees Cosgrove

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Rhode Island Hospital recently acquired a BodyTom CT scanner, a 32-slice portable full body scanner developed by NeuroLogica of Danvers, Mass. The new technology promises to change the way that neurosurgery and radiology collaborate, providing real-time updates during surgery.

The first surgery using this groundbreaking technology was performed on Jan. 16. Providence Business News asked Dr. G. Rees Cosgrove, chief of neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, and clinical director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute, to talk about the ways that the BodyTom CT scanner changes the landscape in neurosurgery and research.

PBN: How will the BodyTom CT scanner change the way that neurosurgery is performed?

COSGROVE: The BodyTom CT scanner allows for images to be acquired during surgery, which are then wirelessly transmitted to the image guidance system for more accurate image guidance.

During surgery, images can be updated with an intra-operative CT to compensate for shift of tissues or to confirm targeting and resection/removal of the pathology.

Prior to completing the surgery, another final CT can be obtained to confirm removal of the pathology, accurate placement of any implanted devices and to exclude any early complications of the surgery.

PBN: How does the investment in new state-of-the-art technology complement the progress in the development of Prince Neurosciences Institute?

COSGROVE: The purchase of the BodyTom demonstrates our commitment to bringing state-of-the-art technology to help us address the complicated diseases of the nervous system that so many of our patients suffer from, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and many others.

PBN: Are there specific kinds of research that the new groundbreaking technology will be involved with? Who will have access to it?

COSGROVE: CT allows for extremely accurate targeting of all important anatomical structures, both bone and soft tissue, and the pathology (i.e., a tumor) immediately prior to surgery. The images, which are acquired in the exact operative position, are used for planning the surgical exposure. By having the capability to take additional scans during surgery, and prior to closure, surgeons are able to confirm removal of the pathology or placement of devices to exclude complications. Additionally, this last scan can mean the patient doesn’t have to come back for a check CT and avoids need for any re-operation.

PBN: Do you see Providence as becoming a go-to place, attracting talent engaged in brain research?

COSGROVE: Providence is already attracting top-notch talent in the brain sciences. Our goal for the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute is to continue to attract the best clinicians and neuroscientists in order to expand our effort in treating patients with serious neurological disorders in a compassionate, collaborative and patient-focused way.

PBN: When did the first surgery using the BodyTom take place? How much did it cost?

COSROVE: The first procedure using the BodyTom took place the week of Jan. 16, 2012. Currently we are only using the BodyTom on inpatients. There is no additional cost to patients or insurers for use of the BodyTom, as insurers pay by the case, not by the specific service.

Dr. G. Rees Cosgrove, neurosurgery¸ Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital¸

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