Neurosurgeon pioneers groundbreaking technology of a new minimally invasive option for brain surgery

Dr. Ronald Benitez, chief, endovascular neurosurgery at Overlook Medical Center, became the first surgeon in New Jersey to use a cutting-edge technology to operate on a patient with epilepsy. This new procedure allows doctors to perform minimally invasive surgery that improves the lives of people suffering from seizures due to epilepsy.

Dr. Ronald Benitez, chief of endovascular neurosurgery, Overlook Medical Center.

Dr. Benitez, who is also a neurosurgeon with Atlantic Brain and Spine (ABS), talks about this new technology and the role that Overlook Medical Center and ABS are playing in leading epileptic treatment in New Jersey.

Q: What is the ROSA Brain robot?

A: ROSA stands for Robotic Stereotactic Assistance. Using the ROSA Brain robot, surgeons make tiny holes in the skull through which they insert electrodes. The electrodes help pinpoint exactly which part of the brain is responsible for seizures. The robot also can assist in deep brain stimulation, trans-nasal and ventricular endoscopy and brain biopsies.

Q: How is Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center using this new technology to treat patients with epilepsy?

A: Our nationally recognized neurosurgery team was the first in New Jersey to pioneer the use of this new minimally invasive option for brain surgery. This groundbreaking technology is the latest advancement available to patients at Overlook Medical Center’s Level 4 Epilepsy Center – yet again placing Overlook and ANS at the forefront of epilepsy care in New Jersey.

We’re truly excited to be the first in New Jersey to use the ROSA Brain robot during brain surgery.

Q: How does this help patients suffering from epilepsy?

A: Seizures can be a daily occurrence for epilepsy patients and approximately 30 percent of these patients do not respond to medication. Using a tool like the ROSA robot is far less invasive surgery, adding new surgical options that can drastically improve the quality of life for patients with seizures. The procedure carries fewer risks and allows for much speedier recovery.

Q: How does the ROSA Brain robot work?

A: Using the ROSA Brain robot, surgeons make tiny holes in the skull through which they insert the electrodes. The electrodes record brain activity and help pinpoint exactly which part of the brain is responsible for seizures. The robot also can assist in deep brain stimulation, trans-nasal and ventricular endoscopy and brain biopsies.

Q: What is a Level 4 Epilepsy Center?

A: A Level 4 Epilepsy Center, such as the one located at Overlook Medical Center, is the highest rank awarded by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Overlook’s Epilepsy Center provides patients with access to cutting-edge technology, medication and surgical intervention. Services include neuro-diagnostic monitoring, medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatments and a broad range of neurosurgical procedures for epilepsy.

Overlook Medical Center has an expert team of epilepsy fellowship-trained and board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuro-radiologists, neuropsychologists, advanced epilepsy nurse clinicians and practitioners and EEG technologists with a 24-hour, on-call service to handle epilepsy-related emergencies.

Atlantic Health System Neuroscience, anchored at Overlook Medical Center’s Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, maintains programs at Morristown, Newton, Chilton and Hackettstown medical centers, and is the region’s leader in neuroscience care.

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