Lifehouse to begin neurosurgery
Dr Brindha Shivalingham


 “When operating on brain cancer innovative and technologically advanced surgical equipment is vital as it allows the surgeon to target the cancerous tissue with pinpoint accuracy …”

– Dr Brindha Shivalingam, Neurosurgeon

Make a difference for cancer patients with brain metastases

Brain metastases are cancer cells that have spread to the brain from primary tumours in other areas in the body. They are a feared and common complication of widespread cancer in the body, and occur in approximately 15% of adult and 6% of child cancer patients. They are also some of the most difficult cancers to treat successfully.

One of the reasons is that the brain is an incredibly delicate and vulnerable area. Where a tumour has woven itself through the brain’s membranes, surgery is even more intricate and complex.

Lifehouse constantly strives to ensure our patients who require surgery not only have a strong surgical team who are experienced in cancer care and treatment, but also have access to the most technologically advanced surgical and medical equipment currently available in our operating theatres.

Lifehouse neurosurgeon, Dr Brindha Shivalingam, says, “When operating on cancer in the brain, innovative and technologically advanced surgical equipment is vital. It allows the surgeon to target the cancerous tissue with pinpoint accuracy, enabling a minimally invasive approach in removing cancerous tissue that has ingrained itself into healthy tissue. Ultimately such precision will provide a better opportunity for a higher level of functionality for the patient post-operatively.”

Lifehouse currently has the world-class surgeons and operating theatres ready and waiting. However before we commence neurosurgery, we are looking to raise $723,000 for the necessary equipment.

Thanks to generous donations from the charity Cure My Brain as well as other key supporters, we have already attracted funding of over $261,000. We therefore need to raise the additional $462,000 to commence this vital lifesaving work. Your money will help to buy equipment such as the technologically advanced BrainLab Neuronavigation System. The system builds a 3D image of the patient’s brain, allowing surgeons to identify the best approach before surgery even begins. In addition equipment such as the Storz Transphenoidal Bipolar Forceps and Transphenoidal Curette are essential for the surgical management of skull based tumours.

By making a tax-deductible donation to help us with our acquisition of surgical equipment needed for brain cancer surgery, ultimately you will be making an investment in better outcomes for our patients.

Brain Cancer Surgery Equipment List

Brainlab Neuronavigation System - $410,000 ($220,000 raised so far thanks to our generous supporters)

Using this system, digital patient data from an MRI or CT scan is uploaded to the Brainlab cranial neuro-navigation system in the operating theatre. The system then maps the data displaying 3D imaging of the patient’s brain and highlighting the affected areas allowing surgeons to identify their approach before making an incision.

Brainlab’s neuronavigation system enables surgeons to take biopsies, place shunts or guide an endoscope with increased confidence and precision. The system tracks the tools being used in real time, displaying their position in relation to the patient data to ensure surgeons are guided through procedures in the most precise way possible. This helps to keep skull openings small and minimise damage to healthy regions of the brain.

Stryker Drill/Saw - $100,000

This is a state of the art surgical power tool that increases precision in cutting and drilling into bone. It offers the surgeon great control and versatility during delicate brain operations.

Medical Trays - $97,802 ($2,428 raised so far thanks to our generous supporters)

Equipment trays are a vital part of modern surgery. Each tray contains highly specialised equipment that is precisely tailored to perform a specific function during an operation. For example, a craniotomy micro tray contains a range of retractors, forceps, clamps, suction tubes and ronguers (strongly constructed, shaped-edged instruments used to cut bone).

We require two of each tray. This is so if any of the equipment is damaged or accidentally becomes unsterile during operations, it can be immediately replaced. The alternative is to place the operation on hold for around two hours whilst the medical hardware is transferred to and from our sterilisation unit. Naturally, this is not an option.

Greenberg Retractor - $39,682

This is a piece of equipment that plays a pivotal role in brain surgery. It is a three-level system in which each level has an assigned task. It allows for tightly controlled surgical movements, offers proprioceptive touch information, enables easy exchanges between instruments and provides the surgeon with comfort during long operations.

Mayfield Headrest - $25,654

This is a horseshoe-shaped headrest that offers cranial support in the prone or supine position for adults and older children. It allows for flexibility in patient positioning and contains several features that provide comfort and ease of use.

Transsphenoidal Equipment – $11,198

Specifically, this includes Storz Transphenoidal Bipolar Forceps and a Transphenoidal Curette. This equipment is designed for the surgical management of skull base tumours.

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