Object. Waterjet dissection represents a new minimally traumatic surgical method for dissection that can be used in various parenchymal organs, in which it allows highly precise parenchymal dissection while preserving blood vessels, resulting in reduced intraoperative blood loss. This study was performed to investigate the clinical application of this new technique in neurosurgical procedures, such as brain tumor resection and epilepsy surgery.
Methods. Thirty-four patients with gliomas (Grades II–IV), cerebral metastases, temporal lobe epilepsy, or cerebellar hemangioblastomas, and one patient with internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis were treated surgically with the aid of the waterjet. Resection was performed using waterjet dissection in combination with conventional neurosurgical procedures. Intraoperatively, the waterjet was easy to handle, and no complications due to the device were observed. Dissection of tissue was possible for all pathological conditions, and pressures between 3 and 45 bars were used. In gliomas, metastases, epilepsy surgery, and hemangioblastoma, the tissue was dissected at pressures between 3 and 17 bars, which preserved blood vessels. Dissection of meningiomas and the ICA stenosis required higher pressures (between 20 and 45 bars); with these pressures, blood vessels were also dissected.
Conclusions. These results indicate that the waterjet dissection procedure can be used intraoperatively without complications. This device appears to be particularly suitable for the dissection of highly vascularized gliomas or normal brain tissue, in which tissue dissection with sparing of blood vessels can be achieved. To prove that this is a useful addition to the neurosurgical armamentarium, reduction of blood loss or postoperative brain edema compared with conventional methods should be demonstrated in future studies.