Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield has become the first practice in Yorkshire and one of only a few in the UK to install a Zeiss OPMI CS NC-2 neurosurgical microscope.

Paragon’s head of neurology, Massimo Mariscoli, says it will deliver better results for pets, improve the health and well-being of the surgeons using it, and improve the hospital’s ability to deal with complex spinal and brain surgeries.

Massimo, an EBVS and RCVS specialist in veterinary neurology said: “The operative microscope is an essential piece of equipment in the modern neurosurgical theatre.

“It delivers good magnification, good illumination without significant aberration or production of excessive heat and has a great internal stability which allows operational flexibility.

“There is also direct visual control of the instrumentation with the possibility to have magnifications up to 10 times with a good depth of field allowing a more natural three-dimensional vision.

“In addition, surgical microscopes allow multiple different magnifications while maintaining constant working distances which leads to excellent flexibility and versatility during surgical procedures.

“For example, low magnification is used during the drilling of the vertebral laminar or the skull and to ensure that the whole surgical field is clean before suturing the muscle layers.

“Higher magnification is used while dealing with delicate structures such as the spinal cord or brain.

“The higher magnification coupled with a good depth of view and stable three-dimensional vision also increases the security and safety when manipulating micro-surgical instruments near the nervous tissue.”

Massimo says that while the microscopes are not common in veterinary practices, he strongly believes they are an essential piece of equipment when dissecting close to the brain or spinal cord in small animals.

He also says that veterinary surgeons benefit from the technology: "The operative neurosurgical microscope is fixed to a self-levelling tripod, allowing multiple spatial configuration to ensure a perfect vision of the surgical field.

“This has a positive outcome on the health and well-being of the surgeons, with a 2013 study showing that, for nearly 85% of the time spent operating, surgeons have symmetrical, non-neutral, head-neck posture.”

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