FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT

YOUR HEALTH: Powerful camera makes it easier to remove brain tumors

ORLANDO, Florida – It was just another day of yard work for Ken Lambert, but then...

"I developed a numbness in my right hand and to the lesser degree in the right side of my face."

Turns out, a tumor had formed in his brain.

"Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is always scary."

80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year.   Each of those will need the incredible expertise of a team of doctors and nurses in the operating room.

But one hospital; is using a new team member.

It's a new robotic camera now used at Florida Hospital in Orlando.

"It's a very novel way to approach brain surgery," said neurosurgeon Dr. Raul Olivera.

"With this robotic arm you actually have the ability of pre-determining the angles that you need and the way you want the light and where you want the camera to go," he explained.   "And then it intuitively kind of does it by itself in the middle surgery so it improves your efficiency, improves your ergonomics and improves the visual position of the tumor and the surrounding brain."

Dr. Olivera says the robotic camera gives a wider field of vision, cleaner images and better angles.   It makes the surgeries quicker with less risk of tissue damage.

"The robotic changes the dynamic on it because then you have the light source and camera acquiring the images kind of like it becomes your friend and works along with you," explained Dr. Olivera.

"You don't have to tell it what to do."

Before the robotic camera, doctors relied on microscopes and magnifying glasses.

"Technology, despite many of the things that people describe as evil and bad, it also has tremendous uses within our lives," said Ken.

"This is going to the wave of the future," predicted Dr. Olivera.

"I think that the robotic arm is not only good for what it brings now," he added, "but because of the possibilities of the future that can come along with this."

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.