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First Surgery with ROSA® Brain Robot in New Jersey Performed at Overlook Medical Center

July 29, 2019

ROSA Brain robot offers new minimally invasive option for brain surgery

Summit, NJ – Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center today announced its nationally recognized neurosurgery team is the first in New Jersey to pioneer the use of a new minimally invasive option for brain surgery – the ROSA® Brain robot. Created by device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, ROSA Brain is a surgical navigation and positioning system, much like a GPS, that allows for precise spatial positioning and orientation of surgical instruments and tools.

ROSA Brain robot

Conventional neurosurgery for epilepsy requires a craniotomy, which is the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain, so that electrodes can be placed to detect and record seizure activity. Due to the complexity of epilepsy surgery, only the most technically skilled neurosurgeons are trained to use the ROSA Brain robot which does not require opening the skull, or even shaving the head.

Overlook’s first surgery using the ROSA Brain robot was performed by Ronald Benitez, MD, chief of endovascular neurosurgery for Overlook Medical Center, Atlantic Health System, and neurosurgeon with Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists. This groundbreaking technology is the latest advancement available to patients at Overlook Medical Center’s Level 4 Epilepsy Center – yet again placing Overlook at the forefront of epilepsy care in New Jersey.

“We’re truly excited to be the first in New Jersey to use the ROSA Brain robot during brain surgery,” said Dr. Benitez. “Seizures can be a daily occurrence for epilepsy patients and approximately 30 percent of these patients don’t respond to medication. Using a tool like the ROSA robot is a far less invasive surgery and adds new surgical options that can drastically improve the quality of life for patients with seizures.”

Using the ROSA Brain robot, surgeons make tiny holes in the skull through which they insert the electrodes. The electrodes record brain activity and help pinpoint exactly which part of the brain is responsible for seizures. The robot also can assist in deep brain stimulation, trans-nasal and ventricular endoscopy, and brain biopsies.

About Overlook Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

The Epilepsy Center at Overlook Medical Center is designated a Level 4 Epilepsy Center – the highest ranking - by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). The Epilepsy Center provides access to major breakthroughs in technology, medication and surgical intervention for epilepsy. Services include intensive neuro-diagnostic monitoring, extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatments, as well as a broad range of neurosurgical procedures for epilepsy.

Overlook Medical Center has a well-established team of epilepsy fellowship-trained and board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuro-radiologists, neuropsychologists, advanced epilepsy nurse clinicians and practitioners and EEG technologists with a 24-hour, on-call service to handle epilepsy-related emergencies.

Overlook Medical Center was the first in New Jersey to evaluate epilepsy patients using magnetoencephalography (MEG) – a noninvasive procedure that uses precise sensors to detect and record the magnetic fields associated with electrical activity in the brain for functional brain mapping and surgical planning. Other advanced neuro-diagnostics includes a 3Tesla MRI, the most powerful clinical scanner available for producing exceptionally detailed diagnostic images of the brain; electrocorticography, which records electrical activity in the brain by placing electrodes in direct contact with the cerebral cortex; and a Wada test to identify which hemisphere of the brain is dominant for language and memory function. Inpatient video electroencephalograms (EEG) monitoring, as well as CT, PET, and SPECT scans are also available.

Advanced surgical options include vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) - the least invasive surgical option - to send an electrical impulse to the vagus nerve to disrupt seizures. Responsive neurostimulation (RNS®), a moderately invasive surgical option and the world’s first and only medical device that can monitor and respond to brain activity. Overlook Medical Center is the first in New Jersey to provide robotic-assisted stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) using the ROSA® Brain for minimally invasive electrode placement.

About Atlantic Health System Neuroscience

Atlantic Health System Neuroscience, anchored at Overlook Medical Center’s Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, with active programs at Morristown, Newton, Chilton and Hackettstown Medical Centers, is the region’s leader in neuroscience care.

Atlantic Health System Neuroscience, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable TeleStroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients. Stroke neurologists at Overlook Medical Center also provide neurological evaluations via TeleStroke devices deployed in emergency departments across six counties. In 2018, out of 2638 stroke patients treated at Atlantic Health System, 795 were evaluated through TeleStroke technology.

Atlantic Health System’s most complex stroke patients are treated at Overlook Medical Center’s Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, a designation reserved for approximately 180 hospitals in the United States. Overlook is the only hospital in New York and New Jersey named as one of Healthgrades® America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care™ for six years in a row (2014-2019).

Overlook Medical Center, with a helipad dedicated to emergency neurological patient transport, as well as a Neuro-ICU and 29-bed neuroscience inpatient unit, has established centers of excellence in the areas of brain tumor, concussion and traumatic brain injurycerebrovascular disease, including stroke and aneurysm, epilepsy, memory and cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular diseasepain and headache, and spine disorders.

Overlook Medical Center is named by Healthgrades® among the Top 5% in the Nation for both Neurosciences and for Cranial Neurosurgery. CareChex®, a medical quality rating system that reviews hospital clinical quality, patient safety and performance of nearly all acute care hospitals and health systems in the U.S., ranked Overlook Medical Center as number one in New Jersey and Top 100 in the Nation for Medical Excellence and Patient Safety in Major Neurosurgery.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system offers 400 sites of care, including six hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ and Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ.

In addition to the employed workforce, Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network represents more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ. This network includes 1,000 physicians and providers comprising one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey - Atlantic Medical Group, as well as members of the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners, which work to enhance patient care delivery.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health needs, including 12 urgent care centersAtlantic Rehabilitation and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of seven regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability, and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system expanding access to groundbreaking research across seven health systems in New Jersey.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.