On 27th October, we’re hosting a fundraising evening in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital charities Tick Tock Club, which is currently raising money for a new intra-operative MRI suite (integrated scanning and operating theatre). We’re holding a food and wine pairing evening in conjunction with Nigel Ede of Experience Wine who has lined up a whole host of amazing wines from Cornish vineyards including Polgoon, Camel Valley and Trevibben Mill. George will be serving a five course taster menu to which Nigel has paired wines for each course. So, not only can you enjoy an evening of fine food and wine, you can do it guilt free knowing you’ll be raising money for a fantastic cause! Read more about the appeal below.
Transforming brain surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Creating a state-of-the-art intra-operative MRI suite
Great Ormond Street Hospital’s neurology and neurosurgery teams see more children with brain tumours and perform more operations for patients with epilepsy than any other hospital in the country. Precision is paramount to ensure that surgeons can successfully treat children without irreparably damaging the healthy parts of the brain.
As technology has developed, surgeons have been able to use imaging techniques in increasingly sophisticated ways. The development of MRI scans in particular has been crucial in the advancement of brain surgery, providing increased accuracy and precision to guide surgeons in performing operations. But the continuing complexities of the procedures mean that the teams are in urgent need of a new facility. Whilst the staff are world-class they need the very latest equipment to allow them to remain at the very forefront of children’s neurosurgery.
Currently, surgeons rely on images of a tumour taken before surgery to guide them in its removal, but structures in the brain can move during surgery, meaning pre-operative scans can quickly lose their accuracy. In addition, tumours are sometimes located under arteries or nerves, making them undetectable to the naked eye.
Surgeons know that, removing as much of a tumour or lesion as possible is crucial – the more they remove, the more likely a child is to be successfully treated. But they must also be extremely careful not to damage healthy tissue during the process. Unfortunately, the current facilities at Great Ormond Street Hospital mean that children can only have new scans several days after an operation, and so families face a difficult and anxious wait until surgeons are able to confirm if all the affected area has been successfully removed. In many cases, some tumour ends up being left behind.
In order to obtain these new scans, children may need another general anaesthetic procedure. If the scans reveal that some tumour or part of a lesion was left behind, further surgery may be needed, risking another anaesthetic and invasive operation, and creating another anxious wait for the parents.
However, a method new to the hospital that integrates real-time imaging into operations taking place could transform the situation for patients diagnosed with neurological conditions and their families.
A new intra-operative MRI suite
In a major step forward, the hospital’s neurology and neurosurgery teams plan to make the uncertainty and risk associated with multiple procedures a thing of the past. They plan to intergrate a state-of-the-art MRI scanner into a new operating theatre to create an intra-operative MRI (iMRI) suite. This facility will make imaging the brain during operations a seamless procedure, giving more critically ill children the best chance of a positive outcome.
After surgeons have completed the initial surgery, they will move the child to the MRI scanner contained within the same suite, travelling seamlessly through interconnected rooms, allowing the patient to remain on the operating table at all times. Within a matter of minutes, the surgeon, radiographer and radiologist will have real-time imaging of the brain and, together, they will be able to confirm whether the tumour has been successfully removed. If so, they can complete the surgery. Alternatively, if parts of the tumour still remain, the team will immediately be able to undertake more surgery to fully remove it.
The iMRI suite will mean answers are quicker and will also allow surgeons to push harder for the best possible outcome. It would also ensure that Great Ormond Street Hospital can offer young patients with neurological conditions and their families the best experience, minimising the stress, anxiety and uncertainty that they currently face.
Once its opens in 2019, the iMRI suite stands to directly benefit hundreds of children being treated for brain tumours and epilepsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital. This equipment will give these children the best chance of fulfilling their future potential, and extend the internationally renowned specialism of our neurosurgery team.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s Tick Tock Club appeal, chaired by Rosemary Squire OBE, now aims to raise the urgently needed funds to help make this state-of-the-art new iMRI suite a reality.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
Registered charity no. 1160024.