The software will also improve accuracy by automating some steps that were previously dependent on the user. It has since substantially shortened operating times for DBS procedures at UCSF.
Paul Larson MD, assistant professor of neurological surgery, and Philip Starr MD, Ph D, Dolores Cakebread Endowed Chair and associate professor of neurological surgery, were both involved with this technology during its development in the 1990s.
During MER, the surgeon passes small microelectrodes into the region of the intended target and observes the pattern of neuronal activity to physiologically confirm accurate placement of the stimulating electrode.
Although this technique is widely used, it is technically demanding, time consuming, and often difficult for patients to tolerate.
It’s up to surg techs to recognize each surgeon’s strengths and anticipate ways to make the process as smooth as possible. Thorell acknowledges that while he might prefer it when a surg tech prepares the instruments in a certain way or facilitates procedures using one technique, another surgeon may prefer things the opposite.
A good surg tech, therefore, picks up on the subtle nuances of each surgeon they work with.