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November 30, 2004

WVU Launches New Brain Surgery System

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University's neurosurgery department has launched a new system to help surgeons view brain disorders and diseases more precisely.

The IGSonic system combines three-dimensional ultrasound technology that provides information about tumor boundaries and blood flow with a surgical navigation system called VectorVision that helps update information during an operation.

WVU partnered with BrainLAB Inc., headquartered in Munich, Germany, to launch the system at Ruby Memorial Hospital on Monday. Under the partnership, WVU Hospitals will serve as a test site, and the university's physicians and scientists will have access to BrainLAB's newest technology and software as they are developed.

Image-guidance technology allows surgeons to navigate within and around the brain, said WVU neurosurgeon Dr. Warren Boling, who helped develop the integrated system.

"Before the development of the IGSonic system, the intraoperative (inside the body) use of ultrasound with neurosurgical navigation was too time-consuming," he said. "Since we can check the quality of our work during the operation, we are more confident that the outcomes for our patients will improve."

BrainLAB, a privately held company, employs more than 580 people worldwide and has offices in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

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Information from: The Dominion Post, http://www.dominionpost.com