Birthday neuronavigation
10/02/2012 - 16 years ago, exactly on February 7, 1996, the first intracranial surgery with neuronavigation  was conducted in Belgium, in the OLV Hospital in Aalst. Neuro-navigation was initially consi...

Welcome to the website of the neurosurgery department

In 1990, the neurosurgery department at the OLV Hospital in Aalst was completely renewed.

So, the new department now exists almost 20 years.

Time to take stock of these 20 years, which seem to have flown by.

During this period, neurosurgery technology has made such spectacular progress that we can safely speak of a rupture with the past.

One of the major ‘innovations’ is that in almost all surgical operations images are used.

In brain surgery, these images have been made beforehand: during neuronavigation the surgeon relies on these images, which enable him to work with extreme precision and to avoid to a large extent human inaccuracies.

But also during spine surgery, which is carried out through ever smaller incisions, radioscopic images (the so-called X-rays) are made.  This has become a fully established technique and operations with two such devices are now daily practice. This way, surgical operations on the spinal column have become very reliable and surgical errors almost non-existing. (cf. O-arm)

This technological progress not only resulted into better imaging, but also into better equipment and, meanwhile, also the effects on the human body are known to perfection. As a result, implants such as screws, plates or rods are no longer rejected.

But not only technology has changed drastically, also the medical points of view and know-how have evolved. For instance, until recently it was still completely inconceivable to remove two brain tumours or very small lesions. This is now possible and such at a very low risk.

Also our medical view on spine deviations and particularly on the importance and function of intervertebral discs have changed drastically.

For instance, when in the past a patient suffered from chronic low back pain, only a fusion (fixation) of the vertebrae could be done. Nowadays, the lasting normal mobility of the intervertebral discs is aimed at.

This can be done using prostheses such as a/o the M6 prosthesis for cervical vertebrae and the M6-L and Maverick prosthesis for lumbar vertebrae.

Meanwhile, one has also become more and more aware that if tissue damage can be restricted, the patient will also suffer less pain and, as a result, will be able to leave hospital sooner and recover faster. This is in fact the underlying principle of every exploratory operation and there are lots of examples: no longer an incision in the knee to remove a meniscus but merely three ‘dots’. Also for most abdominal operations the same procedure is used.

Now, there are also similar techniques to remove a common discus hernia by way of a MED-exploratory operation. You will find an overview of these minimally invasive techniques further on in this website.

Meanwhile, neurosurgery and radiation therapy have started to work together to treat inoperable brain tumours with focused radiation beams, the so-called stereotactic radiosurgery.

But technical evolutions never stop and at our 20th anniversary many other innovations are on their way!!!

If you want more information, just click on the subject you’re interested in!

Enjoy your reading!


10/02/2012 - Birthday neuronavigation
09/02/2012 - Dr. Kools
01/01/2012 - Retirement of Dr. Van Vyve
02/09/2011 - New treatment options for a slipped disc : the Barricaid ® prosthesis
16/11/2010 - Technique never stops !


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