“Game-Changing” Robotic Arm, ROSA, Arrives for Purple Day

Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is celebrating Epilepsy Awareness Day on Saturday, March 26, 2022, with this Friday’s arrival of a brand new, state-of-the-art robotic arm.

The “ROSA ONE Brain” will help surgeons perform a procedure that pinpoints the location of epileptic seizures in patients for subsequent brain surgery. This robot-assisted surgery can ultimately treat children of their seizures, curing their epilepsy.

As one of two Regional Epilepsy Surgery Centres of Excellence in Ontario, Children’s Hospital receives patient referrals from other hospitals, health centres and family doctors’ offices across the province. The most severe and debilitating cases of epilepsy come to two leading edge-hospitals: Children’s Hospital in London or SickKids in Toronto.

Robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) surgery is the optimal choice for these severe cases when doctors have difficulty determining which area of the brain the seizures originate from. Without SEEG technology, an invasive procedure is required that involves opening the patient’s skull.

“Thanks to the new ROSA ONE Brain, our ability to perform SEEG procedures means opening the skull isn’t required,” said Dr. Andrea Andrade, Director of the Paediatric Epilepsy Program at Children’s Hospital, LHSC. “Since the procedure is minimally invasive, children usually recover well with few side effects. This piece of equipment is a game-changer.”

To date, these life-changing surgeries have been performed at LHSC’s University Hospital (UH) campus.

“We are excited our kids can stay at Children’s Hospital for this procedure,” said Dr. Sandrine de Ribaupierre, neurosurgeon and the newly appointed Research Chair of Paediatric Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Children’s Hospital.  “While UH has a robotic arm, transporting patients and the medical team back and forth between hospitals is very complex and the ROSA at Children’s will be better suited for our paediatric patients.” With a waitlist of over 45 children waiting for this life-saving treatment, Dr. de Ribaupierre is confident “the ROSA ONE robot will be life-changing for children currently waiting for this surgery in Ontario.”

Children’s Health Foundation donors helped fund the $752,400.00 state-of-the-art piece of equipment. Donations from many generous families, foundations and individuals contributed to the robot, including LCBO and Airshow London.

“Children’s Health Foundation is proud to partner with community leaders to help bring this new standard of care to Children’s Hospital. We are grateful they recognize the need of our underserved children with epilepsy and exhibit such generosity in funding this valuable resource,” said Scott Fortnum, President and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation. “Thank you to our community for strengthening paediatric health care in our region, improving quality of life for our kids and ensuring better childhoods for our children.”

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