As the region's designated Level II Trauma Center and a certified Primary Stroke Center, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital provides advanced treatments for neurological injuries and illness. Thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation, Memorial's neurosurgical team recently introduced state-of-the-art technology to Sonoma County for patients who need brain or spinal surgery. By outfitting Memorial with this technology, this donation also significantly influenced the recruitment of two distinguished neurosurgeons, Doctors
Giac Consiglieri and
Foremost among these innovations is Medtronic's StealthStation® navigation & O-arm® intra-operative imaging systems, which enable the surgeon to scan a patient's spine during surgery and perform live, 3-D navigation for placement of spinal hardware. This system's ultrafast imaging reduces the exposure of staff to x-rays, while producing detailed, real-time CT images. After an intra-operative scan has been obtained by the O-arm, the surgeon can then use these images and specialized navigation software to place spinal plates and screws. This helps ensure precise placement, reducing the risk of injury to the adjacent spinal cord, nerve roots, and vascular structures.
For patients, the advantages include shorter, less invasive, and more accurate surgeries, with decreased risk of complication.
The O-arm's mobility and tunnel-like, circular gantry — which can be opened or closed back into an "O" shape — allow the surgical team to position it during surgery without having to move the patient.
"The O-arm is an immensely powerful tool, especially in traumatic spine fracture cases. It supports our commitment to patient safety and optimal outcomes," said Dr. Consiglieri, who grew up in Sonoma County and returned here in October, relocating from Spokane, Wash., to join Annadel Medical Group. "It also lends efficiency in the operating room, decreasing the time of surgery, thereby allowing us to treat more emergency patients, which is vital for a trauma center."
More than 1,865 trauma cases were treated at Santa Rosa Memorial in 2014; of these, approximately one fourth — or 466 cases — involved injuries to the head or spine.
In addition to the O-arm, a new Zeiss OPMI Pentero microscope is being added to Memorial's operating room. The Pentero microscope features both a mouthpiece and foot pedal which allow the neurosurgeon to move the microscope in any direction, as well as zoom and focus, without ever needing to remove his or her hands from the operative field. It may also be synchronized to an advanced 3-D image guidance system.
During surgery to remove a brain tumor, this allows the surgeon to focus the microscope on a specific area of the tumor, and then visualize the exact location in the brain on the patient's MRI scan in real time. This technology enhances the surgeon's ability to meticulously, accurately remove the tumor without jeopardizing normal, healthy brain tissue surrounding it.
"The Zeiss Pentero microscope brings to Santa Rosa the latest technology which is currently available and in use at major university medical centers," said Dr. Germain, also newly recruited by Annadel this past fall. "It equips us to treat more complex tumors safely and effectively."
Thanks to Norma Person, the Finley Foundation's president, these technological advances — along with the two neurosurgeons her generosity helped to recruit — are benefiting people throughout our region.
For information about philanthropic opportunities to support St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County, visit StJoeSonoma.org. To learn more about Annadel Medical Group neurosurgical care, click here or call (707) 523-1873.