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Ashish Suri, Ravi Sharma, Varidh Katiyar, and Amol Raheja

Resection of petroclival meningiomas has remained challenging because of the critical neurovascular structures that lie in the vicinity, and thus various surgical corridors have been explored over time to figure out the optimum approach. In this video, the authors have highlighted the operative nuances of the modified Dolenc-Kawase (MDK) anterior petrous rhomboid approach. This approach gives access to the prepontine area, Dorello’s canal, anterior petrous apex, and upper two-thirds of the clivus with better angulation and surgical flexibility. It is a versatile approach for petroclival lesions that are not extending laterally and inferiorly to the internal auditory canal.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.1.FOCVID21256

Free access

Ravi Sharma, Varidh Katiyar, Priya Narwal, Shashank S. Kale, and Ashish Suri

OBJECTIVE

The longer learning curve and smaller margin of error make nontraditional, or "out of operating room" simulation training, essential in neurosurgery. In this study, the authors propose an evaluation system for residents combining both task-based and procedure-based exercises and also present the perception of residents regarding its utility.

METHODS

Residents were evaluated using a combination of task-based and virtual reality (VR)–based exercises. The results were analyzed in terms of the seniority of the residents as well as their laboratory credits. Questionnaire-based feedback was sought from the residents regarding the utility of this evaluation system incorporating the VR-based exercises.

RESULTS

A total of 35 residents were included in this study and were divided into 3 groups according to seniority. There were 11 residents in groups 1 and 3 and 13 residents in group 2. On the overall assessment of microsuturing skills including both 4-0 and 10-0 microsuturing, the suturing skills of groups 2 and 3 were observed to be better than those of group 1 (p = 0.0014). Additionally, it was found that microsuturing scores improved significantly with the increasing laboratory credits (R2 = 0.72, p < 0.001), and this was found to be the most significant for group 1 residents (R2 = 0.85, p < 0.001). Group 3 residents performed significantly better than the other two groups in both straight (p = 0.02) and diagonal (p = 0.042) ring transfer tasks, but there was no significant difference between group 1 and group 2 residents (p = 0.35). Endoscopic evaluation points were also found to be positively correlated with previous laboratory training (p = 0.002); however, for the individual seniority groups, the correlation failed to reach statistical significance. The 3 seniority groups performed similarly in the cranial and spinal VR modules. Group 3 residents showed significant disagreement with the utility of the VR platform for improving surgical dexterity (p = 0.027) and improving the understanding of surgical procedures (p = 0.034). Similarly, there was greater disagreement for VR-based evaluation to identify target areas of improvement among the senior residents (groups 2 and 3), but it did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.194).

CONCLUSIONS

The combination of task- and procedure-based assessment of trainees using physical and VR simulation models can supplement the existing neurosurgery curriculum. The currently available VR-based simulations are useful in the early years of training, but they need significant improvement to offer beneficial learning opportunities to senior trainees.

Restricted access

Ashish Suri, Karanjit Singh Narang, Bhawani Shankar Sharma, and Ashok Kumar Mahapatra

Object

The purpose of this paper was to study the visual outcome after surgery in patients with suprasellar tumors who experienced preoperative blindness in 1 or both eyes.

Methods

All patients with suprasellar tumors and no perception of light in 1 or both eyes and who underwent surgery between May 2002 and May 2006 were included in this retrospective study. Outcome was analyzed at discharge from the hospital and at follow-up. There were a total of 79 patients (51 males and 28 females, age range 5–70 years). There were 37 cases of pituitary adenomas, 19 craniopharyngiomas, 18 meningiomas, and 5 other tumors. Preoperatively 61 patients had uniocular blindness and 18 patients had binocular blindness. Of all 158 eyes, 97 (61.4%) were blind at admission and these eyes were analyzed. Sixty-three patients (79.7%) presented with headache and 14 (17.7%) with hypothalamic symptoms. Nearly one fourth (24%) of patients with a pituitary adenoma had a history of apoplexy. The duration of visual decline ranged from 3 days to 7 years, and the duration of blindness ranged from 1 day to 3 years. Patients underwent either transcranial or transsphenoidal tumor decompression.

Results

At discharge from the hospital visual improvement was exhibited in 23 (29%) of 79 patients and 27 (27.8%) of 97 eyes. Improvement to serviceable vision occurred in 7 (8.9%) of 79 patients and in 8 (8.2%) of 97 eyes with pre-operative blindness. After surgery, visual improvement was noted in 15 (24.6%) of 61 patients with uniocular blindness and 8 (44.4%) of 18 patients with binocular blindness. However, serviceable vision was restored in 5 (8.2%) of 61 patients with uniocular and 2 (11.1%) of 18 patients with binocular blindness. Bivariate analysis revealed male sex, shorter duration of blindness, presence of apoplexy, sellar tumor extension, soft tumor consistency, operative evidence of hemorrhage in tumor, and tumor histopathology (pituitary adenoma) to have significant impact on the outcome. Multivariate analysis revealed duration of blindness for > 12 weeks, apoplexy, and sellar extension to have a significant impact on visual outcome.

Conclusions

The present study is the largest in the existing medical literature to evaluate the factors affecting visual outcome after surgery of suprasellar tumors with preoperative blindness.

Free access

Varidh Katiyar, Ravi Sharma, Vivek Tandon, Revanth Goda, Akshay Ganeshkumar, Ashish Suri, P. Sarat Chandra, and Shashank S. Kale

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to evaluate the impact of age and frailty on the surgical outcomes of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) and to assess caregivers’ perceptions regarding postdischarge care and challenges faced in the developing country of India.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of patients with histopathologically proven GBM from 2009 to 2018. Data regarding the clinical and radiological characteristics as well as surgical outcomes were collected from the institute’s electronic database. Taking Indian demographics into account, the authors used the cutoff age of 60 years to define patients as elderly. Frailty was estimated using the 11-point modified frailty index (mFI-11). Patients were divided into three groups: robust, with an mFI score of 0; moderately frail, with an mFI score of 1 or 2; and severely frail, with an mFI score ≥ 3. A questionnaire-based survey was done to assess caregivers’ perceptions about postdischarge care.

RESULTS

Of the 276 patients, there were 93 (33.7%) elderly patients and 183 (66.3%) young or middle-aged patients. The proportion of severely frail patients was significantly more in the elderly group (38.7%) than in the young or middle-aged group (28.4%) (p < 0.001). The authors performed univariate and multivariate analysis of associations of different short-term outcomes with age, sex, frailty, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. On the multivariate analysis, only frailty was found to be a significant predictor for in-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, and length of hospital and ICU stay (p < 0.001). On Cox regression analysis, the severely frail group was found to have a significantly lower overall survival rate compared with the moderately frail (p = 0.001) and robust groups (p < 0.001). With the increase in frailty, there was a concomitant increase in the requirement for readmissions (p = 0.003), postdischarge specialist care (p = 0.001), and help from extrafamilial sources (p < 0.001). Greater dissatisfaction with psychosocial and financial support among the caregivers of severely frail patients was seen as they found themselves ill-equipped to provide postdischarge care at home (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Frailty is a better predictor of poorer surgical outcomes than chronological age in terms of duration of hospital and ICU stay, postoperative complications, and in-hospital mortality. It also adds to the psychosocial and financial burdens of the caregivers, making postdischarge care challenging.

Free access

Amol Raheja, Shashwat Mishra, Kanwaljeet Garg, Varidh Katiyar, Ravi Sharma, Vivek Tandon, Revanth Goda, Ashish Suri, and Shashank S. Kale

OBJECTIVE

Extracorporeal telescopes (exoscopes) have been the latest addition to the neurosurgeons’ armamentarium, acting as a bridge between operating microscopes and endoscopes. However, to the authors’ knowledge there are no published preclinical laboratory studies of the accuracy, efficiency, and dexterity of neurosurgical training for the use of 2D or 3D exoscopes compared with microscopes.

METHODS

In a controlled experimental setup, 22 participating neurosurgery residents performed simple (2D) and complex (3D) motor tasks with three visualization tools in alternating sequence: a 2D exoscope, 3D exoscope, and microscope, using a block randomization model based on the neurosurgeons’ prior training experience (novice, intermediate, and senior: n = 6, 12, and 4, respectively). Performance scores (PS; including error and efficiency scores) and dexterity scores (DS) were calculated to objectify the accuracy, efficiency, and finesse of task performance. Repeated measures ANOVA analysis was used to compare the PS, DS, and cumulative scores (CS) of candidates using the three visualization aids. Bland-Altman plots and intraclass correlation coefficients were generated to quantify intraobserver and interobserver agreement for DS. Subgroup analysis was performed to assess the impact of participants’ prior training. A postexercise survey was conducted to assess the comfort level (on a 10-point analog scale) of the participants while using each visualization tool for performing the suturing task.

RESULTS

PS, DS, and CS were significantly impacted by the visualization tool utilized for 2D motor tasks (p < 0.001 for each), with the microscope faring better than the 2D exoscope (p = 0.04) or 3D exoscope (p = 0.008). The PS for the 3D object transfer task was significantly influenced by the visualization aid used (p = 0.007), with the microscope and 3D exoscope faring better than the 2D exoscope (p = 0.04 for both). The visualization instrument used significantly affected the DS and CS for the suturing task (p < 0.001 for both), with the microscope again scoring better than the 2D exoscope (p < 0.001) or 3D exoscope (p = 0.005). The impact of the visualization aid was more apparent in participants with a shorter duration of residency (novice, p = 0.03; intermediate, p = 0.0004). Participants also felt the greatest operational comfort while working with a microscope, 3D exoscope, and 2D exoscope, in that order (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with 3D and 2D exoscopes, an operating microscope provides better dexterity and performance and a greater operational comfort level for neurosurgeons while they are performing 2D or 3D motor tasks. For performing complex 3D motor tasks, 3D exoscopes offer selective advantages in dexterity, performance, and operational comfort level over 2D exoscopes. The relative impact of visualization aids on surgical proficiency gradually weakens as the participants’ residency duration increases.

Restricted access

Manish Kumar Kasliwal and Ashish Suri

Free access

Amol Raheja, Nitish Agarwal, Sarita Mohapatra, Vivek Tandon, Sachin Anil Borkar, P. Sarat Chandra, Shashank S. Kale, and Ashish Suri

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted healthcare systems globally. The need of the hour is the development of effective strategies for protecting the lives of healthcare providers (HCPs) and judicious triage for optimal utilization of human and hospital resources. During this pandemic, neurosurgery, like other specialties, must transform, innovate, and adopt new guidelines and safety protocols for reducing the risk of cross-infection of HCPs without compromising patient care. In this article, the authors discuss the current neurosurgical practice guidelines at a high-volume tertiary care referral hospital in India and compare them with international guidelines and global consensus for neurosurgery practice in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the modifications incorporated into their clinical practice, including those for stratification of neurosurgical cases, patient triaging based on COVID-19 testing, optimal manpower management, infrastructure reorganization, evolving modules for resident training, and innovations in operating guidelines. The authors recommend the use of their blueprint for stratification of neurosurgical cases, including their protocol for algorithmic patient triage and management and their template for manpower allocation to COVID-19 duty, as a replicable model for efficient healthcare delivery.

Free access

Narendra Kumar, Varidh Katiyar, Kokkula Praneeth, Ravi Sharma, Priya Narwal, Amol Raheja, Vivek Tandon, Shashwat Mishra, Kanwaljeet Garg, Ashish Suri, P. Sarat Chandra, and Shashank S. Kale

OBJECTIVE

The adoption of telemedicine became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic because patients found commuting to be difficult owing to travel restrictions. Initially, audio-based teleconsultations were provided. Later, on the basis of the feedback of patients and caregivers, the authors started to provide video-based teleconsultations via WhatsApp. The authors subsequently surveyed the patients and caregivers to determine their satisfaction levels with telemedicine services.

METHODS

An anonymized telephone survey of patients who had participated in teleconsultation was conducted with a structured questionnaire. The responses were analyzed and their correlations with the perceived benefits and limitations of audio and video teleconsultation were determined.

RESULTS

Three hundred respondents were included in the first round of surveys, of whom 250 (83.3%) consented to video teleconsultation. Among the respondents who participated in both audio and video teleconsultations (n = 250), paired analysis showed that video teleconsultation was perceived as better in terms of providing easier access to healthcare services (p < 0.001), saving time (p < 0.001), and satisfaction with the way patient needs were conveyed to healthcare providers (p = 0.023), as well as in terms of adequacy of addressing healthcare needs (p < 0.001) and consequently providing a higher rate of overall satisfaction (p < 0.001). For both audio and video teleconsultation, overall patient satisfaction was significantly related to only previous exposure to WhatsApp. However, for video consultation, longer call duration (p = 0.023) was an important independent factor. Video teleconsultation was preferable to face-to-face consultation irrespective of educational status, but higher education was associated with preference for video teleconsultation.

CONCLUSIONS

Both audio and video teleconsultation are viable cost-effective surrogates for in-person physical neurosurgical consultation. Although audio teleconsultation is more user-friendly and is not restricted by educational status, video teleconsultation trumps the former owing to a more efficient and satisfactory doctor-to-patient interface.

Restricted access

Anil Kumar Garg, Ashish Suri, Bhavani S. Sharma, Shamin A. Shamim, and Chander S. Bal

Object

The object of the present study was 3-fold: 1) to study regional cerebral perfusion before and after endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) in patients with obstructive hydrocephalus by using 99mTc ethyl cysteinate dimer SPECT: 2) to study any correlation between clinically successful third ventriculostomy and CSF flow across the third ventriculostomy; and 3) to determine any changes in hormone profile following ETV.

Methods

The authors prospectively studied 15 patients with aqueductal stenosis who underwent ETV during the last 2 years. All the patients underwent pre- and postoperative MR imaging, brain 99mTc ethyl cysteinate dimer SPECT, and hormone profile studies.

Results

Eight patients were infants. The mean follow-up duration was 17.6 months. Thirteen patients (86.7%) exhibited clinical improvement after surgery. In all patients with clinical improvement the studies documented CSF flow through the ventriculostomy site. Clinical progress could be correlated with SPECT changes in 14 cases (93.3%). In the 13 clinically successful cases, 12 were substantiated by improvement on SPECT scans, whereas in the 2 failed cases, SPECT images revealed no improvement of perfusion defects. Hormone analysis conducted in 14 patients revealed hyperprolactinemia in 8, low triiodothyronine values in 2 patients, and hypocortisolemia in 1, which was reversed after ETV.

Conclusions

Clinical improvement is not well correlated with a decrease in ventricular size following ETV. Brain SPECT is a valuable tool for the follow-up of patients with hydrocephalus after ETV, particularly in cases in which MR imaging findings are not clear. There are subtle hormonal changes in patients with hydrocephalus that may improve following ETV.

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Eberval Gadelha Figueiredo, Manoel J. Teixeira, Robert F. Spetzler, and Mark C. Preul