Brain tumors present with pressure effects on the adjacent healthy nerve tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Removing the brain tumors with minimal effect on these adjacent healthy but compromised neural tissues is the aim which every neruosurgeon tries to achieve. Ultrasonic aspirator is one such piece of equipment that helps in removing the brain tumors safely. It causes cavitation of the tumor using high frequency ultrasound wave delivered through a specially desinged pencil like probe. It causes cavitation of the tumor and this liquified tumor is then aspirated. This equipment "cuts" the tumor without any heat or traction thereby avoiding potential damage to the surrounding neural tissue.
At Bansal Hospital, the neurosurgery department has Cavitron Ultrasonic Aspirator (CUSA) from integra. Tumors have varying consistency and can be at different depth depending upon the location. In this machine, the tips can be changed pre-operatively depending upon the requirement. So we have a separate tip for firmer tumors and a longer and slender tip for excising tumors from endonasal approaches.
The same piece of equipment is useful in liver transplants and GI surgery using different handpiece.