The progress of neurosurgery cannot be separated from the progress of modern technologies and instruments.
When the department was founded in 1997, we purchased the stereotaxic apparatus and started the stereotactic surgery. After that, we purchased the X-ray knife and made great achievements in the treatment of cerebellar neoplasms, arteriovenous malformations and trigeminal neuralgia.
In 1999, we further purchased the electroencephalogram system and SmartEP Evoked Potential System for the epilepsy surgery and became the only hospital in Taiwan capable of implementing the epilepsy surgery. At the same time, we also used the Evoked Potential Monitoring System for more difficult and dangerous surgeries, such as posterior fossa tumors or spinal surgeries, to ensure patient safety and reduce damage to the brain stem or the spinal cord.
In 1999, the stereotactic navigation system was introduced, and new technologies were used in the brain surgery to obtain real-time 3D images and quickly find the cause of disease to avoid injuries to vital organs. This navigation error is less than 3 mm, which is of great help for deep brain tumor surgery. In the end of 1999, the Brain endoscopy was further introduced, which ushered in a new era for the pituitary gland and brain water endoscopic surgery.
In 2002, the department began to use the endoscopy to treat patients with hemorrhagic strokes and accumulated considerable excellent clinical experience. The achievements have also been published in international journals.
In 2003, the hospital introduced a gamma knife apparatus for performing the radiosurgery (Gamma Knife Radiosurgery) on deep skull base brain tumors less than 3 cm in depth and cerebral arterial malformations. Gamma knife radiosurgery can also achieve the same effect as a conventional craniotomy while avoiding complications from craniotomy. So far, the department has treated more than 500 patients with the gamma knife radiosurgery.
In 2004, the department began to develop spine stenting for the treatment of patients with spinal problems, and bone paste was used extensively in patients with comminuted thoracolumbar fractures. On average, more than 800 patients with cervical and thoracolumbar spine disorders will undergo the surgical treatment each year in the department.
In 2004, Dr. Qiu Shangming joined the team and worked with Director Cai Chonghao from the Neurology Division to develop Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease. The department is the first in Taiwan to implement this technology, and so far, it has treated more than 20 patients and made great contributions to the improvement of the patients' life quality.
In 2005, Professor Yang Wenguang was invited to serve our hospital, and the gene cell laboratory was established to develop immunotherapy for the malignant brain tumor (GBM), which greatly increased the success rate of treatment for the malignant brain tumor. According to the clinical experience of our department, we have now improve the two-year survival rate of patients to 78%.
In 2007, our department started a plan to build the Stroke Medical Center, and convened various elites in the hospital to collaborate in the diagnosis and new treatment of strokes such as thrombolysis in the brain, cerebrovascular anastomosis, and embolization of cerebral aneurysm and arteriovenous malformations.
At present, there are about 130 new patients hospitalized in our department each month. The figure or achievement can be the highest in Taiwan. The stroke patients in the emergency room of our hospital will only need 25 minutes to all examinations and thus it will not miss the timing for gold treatment.
In 2012, a number of advanced surgical microscopes were purchased so that indocyanion green can be injected intraoperatively to observe aneurysm removal under the microscope and 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) can be used to visualize the malignant tumor under the microscope and increase the possibility of complete removal to enhance the patient's prognosis.
In 2013, the annual meeting of the National Association of Neurosurgeons was held, and foreign guests and the national neurosurgical authorities were invited to gather in Taichung.
In 2014, a hybrid operating room was set up to perform vascular imaging and synergistic surgery in the operating room and increase the success rate of surgeries and treatment for strokes and cerebral hemorrhages.
In 2015, cortical bone screws were introduced to be improve the minimally invasive spinal surgery. Even in spondylosis surgery, a scar of only a few centimeters is left to greatly reduce the postoperative pain and length of hospital stay and contribute to a rapid recovery process.