A new surgical imaging device was recently developed and tested in Cedars- Sinai Medical Center, where Adam Roseman is a member of the board of governors. The new scope, called a VITOM, was studied by Neurosurgeon Adam N. Mamelak M.D. , who is practiced in minimally invasive pituitary surgery and is co-director of the Pituitary Center at Cedars-Sinai. During his inspection of the device, Dr. Mamelak was asked by veterinary endocrinologists and surgeons from VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital if it could be used in similar operations for animals. Some pituitary tumors are very common in dogs, and are often fatal.
After further examining the scope, Mamelak found that it could indeed be used for animal neurosurgery as well. He agreed to teach the veterinary surgeons how to use it while performing life-saving operations to remove the tumors. The surgery benefits both humans and dogs in an additional way; the removed tumors are sent back to the Cedars-Sinai labs for further examination and testing, with hopes of discovering a drug that can be used as a non-invasive cure.
There is currently only one other organization, located in the Netherlands, working to surgically remove pituitary tumors in canines. Both groups use a transsphenoidal approach, which is basically creating a small hole at the back of the mouth in order to enter the skull at the base of the brain. This has been only partially effective in veterinary surgery until now, because dogs have long snouts which make it harder for the surgeons to see what they are doing. The VITCOM is a wonderful solution to this problem, as it magnifies the operation field by up to 12 times.