The Future of Neurosurgery: How Neuro Navigation Helps Save Lives

In the photo, left to right: Wallace Denver; Stephanie Riddell, President & CEO, MGH Foundation; Dr. Judith Marcoux; Louise Toupin; Ann Birks; Susan Nichol, representing Michael Boyd; Audrey Scott; Dr. David Hornstein; Gina Steszyn, Major Gifts Development Officer, MGH Foundation. Absent: Beverly Lun

“I was going in blind,” describes Dr. Judith Marcoux, Medical Director of the Neurotrauma Program at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH-MUHC), referring to the way she and other surgeons had to find their way to insert a pressure-relieving catheter into the brain of injured patients. Now, thanks to the purchase of a neuro navigation unit for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the MGH, as part of The Future of Surgery initiative, neurosurgeons can quickly and non-invasively map out and plan that procedure, known as an external ventricular drain (EVD).  

Research done at the MUHC using the Medtronic StealthStation S8 demonstrated that this procedure could now be done optimally virtually every single time, whereas the classic or “blind” method was optimally performed only two-thirds of the time. This is crucial to patients’ well-being since each failed attempt puts the patient at risk of new brain injuries. 

Traumatic brain injuries can affect motor skills, speech, vision, hearing or even changes in personality. The most seriously injured patients who suffer such an injury anywhere south of the TransCanada Highway or in Northern Quebec are sent to the MGH-MUHC.  When a patient comes in with such an injury surgeons must relieve brain swelling as quickly as possible. “It’s my role as a neurosurgeon to remove the surplus blood and make space for the brain to heal,” explains Dr. Marcoux, who was the first Canadian trained in neurotrauma.  

The new neuro navigation unit improves patient safety and outcomes. Thanks to donations from generous donors Ann Birks, Michael Boyd, Wallace Denver, Beverly Lun, Audrey Scott and Louise Toupin, the team at the MGH ICU unit will be able to focus on saving lives. Together, they are transforming healthcare! 

The Future of Surgery: Dr. Liane Feldman
Monday February 20th, 2023

Surgery is a major, potentially life-changing event that can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life. At the Montreal General Hospital alone, 10,000 patients underwent surgery every year pre-pandemic. And of course, the number of people needing surgery is on the rise. Annie DeMelt interviews Dr. Liane Feldman, Surgeon-in-Chief, MUHC about a 10-year plan to …

Annual Report


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