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New Technology Available at Barrow Neurological Institute to Treat Hypothalamic Hamartoma September 21, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Uncategorized.
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Barrow Neurological Institute is pleased to announce new technology now available for patients suffering with Hypothalamic Hamartoma. In addition to surgical removal and radiation treatment, we now offer a minimally-invasive procedure called laser generated stereotactic thermoablation to treat this malformation.

Laser generated stereotactic thermoablation allows surgeons to place a laser probe into the HH lesion to administer heat to that tissue. This is performed using intra-operative MRI imaging, which allows the medical team to visualize the administration of heat in real time.

Built-in safety mechanisms in the computer based system automatically shut down the probe to protect vital structures in the brain in close proximity to the targeted tissue. In addition, a coolant system allows a very focused application of the laser energy and heat to minimize the collateral damage that can occur in thermal therapies.

Contact the program coordinator for more information on this advanced technology, or visit http://www.visualaseinc.com/

Regards, Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
Barrow Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center


Individualized Treatment Planning September 12, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Uncategorized.
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Hypothalamic Hamartoma(s) are malformations, which are present at birth. It is not known what causes them or what influences their size or anatomical position in the brain.  Treatment planning is completed with consideration of these anatomical factors as well as the patient’s symptoms (complexity & severity), and overall health. Surgical approaches including the transcallosal, endoscopic, orbito-zygomatic, or combined approach all carry different risks and benefits as do radiation treatment. The take home message here is that every patient has their own journey and no two patients are alike. Treatment plans must be fashioned to meet the needs of each patient to be successful.

Regards, Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA

Neuroscience Program Coordinator

Barrow Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Hospital

How to select your physician and/or hospital September 4, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Hypothalamic Hamartoma, Medicine and Health.
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Subspecialty programs like the Barrow Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center unite numerous medical disciplines (neurosurgery, neurology, neurological rehabilitation, etc.) to provide complex diagnostic testing, treatment planning, and evaluation. In addition to ensuring the highest standard of care, the collaboration between these groups fosters a sense of encouragement and comfort to patients needing a collection of qualified individuals within different specialties in one location.

Barrow is one of the few institutions in the country that can offer these comprehensive services to people from all parts of the world. At the Barrow Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center, our highly-trained and experienced team uses medical records, radiographic tests, and other diagnostic exams to formulate a treatment plan to meet your specific needs.

Whether you are seeking a second opinion or primary care for your condition, make sure you are asking the right questions. Here are suggestions to making your search successful:

• Patients suffering from hypothalamic hamartomas can require treatment by a variety of specialists, including neurosurgeons, neurologists, endocrinologists, neuropsychologists, radiation oncologists, psychiatrists, and research scientists. Do you work with a multidisciplinary team on a regular basis with expertise in this “high rent district” of the brain?
• Why is this surgery necessary?
• Are there alternative procedures and treatments? Are they available here?
• How many surgeries of this nature have you and your team performed?
• Can you show me the tumor on the MRI?
• What are the potential complications and risks of my procedure?
• What do you consider a successful outcome?
• How effective do you expect to be at eliminating all of my symptoms?
• Is it possible that I will need additional treatment?
• What is the size and location of the incision?
• Tell me about your team members and their experience with HH patients. Will my Insurance plan cover the cost of the procedure?
• Is your team conducting research projects in this area?

To review our pediatric and adult team specialists click links below:



Regards, Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
Barrow Hypothalamic Hamartoma Center