"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory" -- MEDICA Trade Fair

"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory"

Interview with Prof Klaus-Peter Hoffmann, Head of Medical Engineering & Neuroprosthetics, Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in St. Ingbert, Germany

The bowel is surrounded by a dense plexus of nervous tissue that presents problems for surgeons. On the one hand, it is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding tissue; while on the other hand, sometimes portions of it need to be removed when parts of the colon are removed. Yet injuring these nerves can result in permanent damage, since they control bladder function, anal sphincter muscles and sexual function.


Photo: Klaus-Peter Hoffmann

Prof. Klaus-Peter Hoffmann; ©Fraunhofer IBMT

Photo:Surgery, an electrode is embeddes in tissue

Continous intraoperative stimulation of N. pelvici splanchnici during mesorectal dissection at a patient with rectal cancer. A tripolar electrode that has been developed during the IKONA project is used; ©University Hospital Mainz/ Prof Werner Kneist

Photo: The inside of the body via endoscope

Laparoscopic removal of the rectum because of a carcinoma. Smallest nerves can be seen magnified at the pelvic wall. Neurostimulation to monitor pelvic nerves is especially suited to perform gentle, minimal-invasive surgery; ©University Medicine Mainz/ Prof Werner Kneist

Graphic: human sacrum

The human sacrum has several foramina. The electric field used in neuromonitoring has to be guided through them; ©panthermedia.net/krishna creations

Foto: Timo Roth; Copyright: B. Frommann

© B. Frommann