Surgeons use 3D technology in brain surgery

Surgeons at Chicago's Northwestern Medicine hospital are pioneering a new approach to brain surgery, using 3D glasses and monitors to help them "see" better in the operating room. The hospital is one of only three in the country to regularly use the technology to remove brain tumors, CBS Chicago reported.

"(It) allows you to see a lot more," said neurosurgeon Dr. James Chandler, "and more importantly, perform more confident and safer surgeries."

3D glasses worn during surgery
Northwestern Medicine

Chandler, along with ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Robert Kern, recently used the technology while operating on patient Irina Murray, who has a tumor at the base of her brain. During the procedure, the surgeons wore 3D glasses and watched their movements on a monitor. It allowed them a better view of Murray's brain.

"This 3D endoscopic system gives you everything that a microscope has, and more," Chandler said. As a result, he said, the surgery was more successful than it would have been otherwise.

"Dr. Chandler said he can see more," Murray said. "He was probably able to remove more of the cancer."

The added technology also made the surgery less invasive. The doctors were able to go in through Murray's nose instead of making an incision. She said her recovery took days instead of weeks.

"I feel great now," she said.

"When you see the patients back up and around so fast," said Dr. Kern, "it's quite satisfying."