Africa's first robotic neurosurgery visualisation technology now operational

State-of-the-art microscope system goes live at Johannesburg hospital

Tuesday, April 24 2018

Africa’s first ZEISS KINEVO 900, a highly advanced robotic visualisation system used to guide the most intricate neurosurgeries, was recently acquired by, and is now operational at, Netcare Garden City Hospital in Mayfair West, Johannesburg.

“The equipment is the latest of its kind available globally, and offers a number of advanced functionalities over other surgical microscopes available on the market today,” says Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the Netcare Hospital division.

“The ZEISS KINEVO 900 is an important development in neurosurgery both locally and internationally. Its installation at Netcare Garden City Hospital has therefore generated a great deal of interest within the local medical sector, and it has already been used by neurosurgeons at the hospital for a variety of procedures over the past few weeks,” he observes.

Pic: Neurosurgeon, Dr Yusuf Osman, with the new ZEISS KINEVO 900, a highly advanced robotic visualisation system used to guide the most intricate neurosurgeries,  which has been installed at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Mayfair West, Johannesburg.

Du Plessis says that the new microscope system provides excellent 3D visualisation of the brain, spine and other parts of the nervous system and will be extremely useful to neurosurgeons in diagnosing problems, as well as to guide a range of intricate procedures to treat abnormalities of, and diseased tissue within, the nervous system.

“This new-generation visualisation device is perhaps best described as an enabling technology: it allows the neurosurgeon to use both a 3D digital screen, as well as the traditional microscope optic, providing them with more options and greater flexibility while performing procedures,” adds Du Plessis.

He points out that ZEISS has for long been known for its outstanding optical and lens technology, the company having been established in Germany in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss. “The first photographs taken on the moon by the crew of Apollo 11 in 1962 were captured using ZEISS camera lenses. These incredible images continue to capture the imagination of people around the world.”

Dr Yusuf Osman, a highly experienced neurosurgeon who has been practising at Netcare Garden City Hospital since 1994, observes that neurosurgery has numerous challenges inherent to it. This, he says, is largely because of the extremely delicate structures in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

“The greatest care needs to be taken when undertaking procedures within these areas. It is important therefore for us as neurosurgeons to be able to visualise the anatomy as clearly as possible. We need to be able to easily differentiate the normal anatomical structures from abnormal or diseased tissue,” he points out.

“The outstanding visualisation technology of the new generation ZEISS KINEVO 900 provides us with these capabilities, assisting us to complete the most intricate of neurological procedures through the smallest possible incisions, and with the greatest degree of accuracy.”

With the assistance of a technical team from ZEISS, Dr Osman and his team were trained on, and thoroughly familiarising themselves with, the new visualisation device before undertaking a number of procedures to treat brain tumours, malformations in the brain stem and spine tumours.

“This visualisation technology will also prove its worth in various other neurological procedures, including the treatment of blood vessel abnormalities in the brain and slipped discs in the spine,” notes Dr Osman.

“The equipment has a special micro inspection tool that has increased the scope of visualisation of the anatomy and pathologies, or diseased structures, even around corners, which earlier forms of this technology are not capable of.”

“With surgeon-controlled robotics to assist in focusing, magnifying and visualising precisely and effortlessly, it is also a great deal easier to operate than other microscopes,” explains Dr Osman.

“The robotics of the system is designed to allow intelligent rather than manual positioning, enabling precision positioning with much less effort. This enables the surgeon to exclusively focus on the site of treatment. It also provides rock solid stability and minimises time-consuming efforts in planning even the most challenging neurosurgeries,” he observes.

According to Dr Osman, The ZEISS KINEVO 900 also has the facility to record surgical procedures which can then be downloaded to other devices. This gives the surgeon the opportunity to review the procedure, as well as to easily discuss cases and share knowledge with colleagues.

Netcare Garden City Hospital general manager, Jayesh Parshotam, says that the acquisition of the device is an important development for the neurosurgery department at the hospital and its patients, who come from around Johannesburg and the African continent to access quality medical treatment at the facility.

“We are most gratified to have such advanced technology as the ZEISS KINEVO 900 at the disposal of our neurosurgery team at the hospital, which strengthens our neurological services to our patients,  

“It will enable them to perform intricate procedures, which often take many hours to complete and can be extremely tiring, much more comfortably and efficiently. Moreover, the new technology further strengthen our neurological services to our patients,” he concludes.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Garden City Hospital
Contact:              Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney and Meggan Saville
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:        mart[email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]