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Zero-Incision Brain Surgery Now Available at Texas Health Arlington Memorial|
ARLINGTON, Texas — An innovative brain surgery that offers minimal scarring and shortened recovery time is among several new complex brain and spine procedures now available at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
The surgery, endoscopic transsphenoidal hypophysectomy, involves removal of a pituitary tumor through a patient’s nasal cavity and eliminates the need for incisions. The traditional method is more invasive and requires removal of bones in the septum of the nose, said Dr. Sabatino Bianco, the hospital’s new medical director of neuroscience.
“Patients usually leave within 48 hours of having this surgery,” said Bianco, who first studied the minimally invasive method as a medical student in Italy more than 15 years ago. “The recovery is similar to what you’d experience with a minor procedure and there’s less pain and scarring involved.”
During the procedure, a scope with a light and camera is inserted into the nasal cavity. The scope projects images onto a high-definition television to give the neurosurgeon an enhanced view of the affected area, thereby improving patient outcomes, Bianco said.
Nearly 7,000 pituitary tumors were diagnosed in 2005, according to the American Cancer Society’s latest data. While most are non-cancerous, they can potentially cause vision loss, overproduction of hormones, and damage to other parts of the brain.
Bianco is also one of only a handful of doctors in North Texas performing complex spine procedures, such as deformity correction, scoliosis, spinal tumors, and minimally invasive spinal surgery.
“In the past five years, the development of minimally invasive spinal techniques has allowed us to perform outpatient spinal surgery with fast return to an active lifestyle and to routine work activity that was a dream 10 years ago,” Bianco said.
Bianco attended medical school at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy. He completed a residency in neurosurgery at the University of Genoa in Liguria, Italy, in 2000 and at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, N.C., in 2005. He completed a fellowship in neuroendoscopy at the University of Pittsburgh in 1999.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas also offer neuroscience services.
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Physicians on the medical staff are not employees or agents of the hospital.