Technology at Marquette General Hospital is allowing doctors to better attack brain tumors. In June, MGH became the first hospital in the U.S. to perform a surgery using the Brain Path device to remove tumors. "I was just so happy to get it over with. I just wanted them in there and get that tumor out of there," said Robin Charlebois.
Sixty-year-old Robin Charlebois of Wells is diagnosed with grade three brain cancer. She had Brain Path surgery in March to remove her brain tumor, but she was the first Brain Path patient to be fully awake. Robin says she felt no pain during the five-hour minimally invasive surgery.
"I don't know that I even knew what it felt like. I can tell you that I was totally numb, and I bet you today, I can still put my thumb on spots that feel like they're numb," Robin said.
She recalls talking and joking during the surgery.
"Robin was chatting away. In fact, we had to ask her to stop talking for a bit because when you talk, the brain moves a little bit," said Dr. Richard Rovin.
Dr. Rovin is the neurosurgeon who operated on Robin. He says the Brain Path device allows doctors to reach and remove tumors beneath the surface of the brain, a surgical procedure not offered before.
"It makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my duty to my patients, which is always to provide them the best care possible," Dr. Rovin said.
Robin's surgery went perfectly. She still receives radiation and oral chemotherapy treatments to eliminate residual cancer tissue, but she is in high spirits.
"I've had very little discomfort at all from the very beginning. I don't think I've taken a Tylenol since I had the surgery," Robin said.
MGH reports that dozens of other patients have had similar success stories with Brain Path surgery. May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month.