For the week beginning 22nd October we have been observing ‘International Brain Tumour Awareness Week’.

This is an opportune time to focus on the neurological based procedures that we undertake at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne (SVPHM) and the wonderful doctors and medical staff that ensure our patients receive the best possible care.

The Neurological Department of SVPHM operates primarily from our Fitzroy campus. We provide our patients with extensive clinical and diagnostic services related to disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscle. Alongside out specialist neurosurgical theatres, we have a 34-bed specialised neuroscience unit as well as 8 beds and a highly qualified specialist medical and nursing staff in our Intensive Care Unit. At our East Melbourne campus we focus on sleep studies and procedures such as deep brain stimulation (DBS); DBS works towards alleviating the debilitating neurological symptoms such as those associated with Parkinson’s disease. To accommodate our Neurological surgeries at East Melbourne we have a multidisciplinary unit working within a 4-bed high dependency unit.

SVPHM hosted a Category 1 Neurosciences Symposium on October 22. The day provided an opportunity to profile the exciting innovations, research and technologies of our neurosciences unit and allow for general practitioners within the greater Melbourne area to question and learn from neurosciences specialists. Chair for the day was Associate Professor Michael Murphy. A/Prof Murphy has acted as Director of Neurosurgery at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne for the past 15 years. He is involved in several multidisciplinary clinics for the management of tumours and is one of the leading surgeons for ‘awake’ craniotomies in Australia. By having the patient remain awake during surgery, the risk of complication is reduced and the potential for a greater extent of lesion resection is increased.

Another speaker during the Neurosciences Symposium was Dr David Oehme. Extensively trained in the management and treatment of complex spine conditions and brain tumours, Dr Oehme specialises in minimally invasive surgery and keyhole techniques that maximise neurological function while minimising tissue destruction and pain. Dr Oehme is a recent inclusion to the St Vincent’s Private neurosciences team and when asked about International Brain Tumour Week said it was a very important week. ‘Patients with brain tumours are often young and in the prime of their life. Not only do they have a tumour, they also have a neurological illness’. He said it was a privilege to be part of the team at St Vincent’s Private and to be able to provide the best possible care to these special patients.

This week we think of those individuals and their families that have been affected by brain tumours and we look towards the future in which diagnostic and clinical techniques are constantly improving our ability to treat brain tumours.

For more information please visit the following pages:

–     www.svphm.org.au/home/our-services/list-of-services/neuroscience-brain-and-spinal

–     www.btaa.org.au

–     www.theibta.org

–     www.doneurosurgery.com