Use of the da Vinci minimally invasive robotic system for resection of a complicated paraspinal schwannoma with thoracic extension: case report

Mick J Perez-Cruet, Robert J Welsh, Namath S Hussain, Evan M Begun, Jules Lin, Paul Park
Neurosurgery 2012, 71 (1 Suppl Operative): 209-14

BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: Applications of robotics to minimally invasive spine surgery have produced several benefits while sparing patients the morbidity of traditional open surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery offers the advantages of less pain and less blood loss, along with quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays. The da Vinci robotic surgical system has recently been adapted to neurosurgical applications. This article details a posterior approach using a tubular retraction system in conjunction with an anterior approach using the da Vinci robot to completely remove large spinal schwannomas with intrathoracic extension. This technique is an example of a novel application of existing technology initially developed for other applications.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: Two patients with large thoracic schwannomas extending into the chest cavity are reviewed. We present images and video of the combined minimally invasive approach used to completely remove the lesions without complications.

CONCLUSION: This report describes a novel neurosurgical application of an existing minimally invasive robotic surgical system.

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