Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Doctors at Golisano Children’s Hospital are the first to use a specialized technology to treat a rare, sometimes life-threatening disease in children.
Arianna Failla has spent most of her three years on Earth suffering from the effects of tumors in her body, especially non-cancerous ones in her brain.
"These patients require 24/7 supervision. We have parents that never knew going to take a coffee without being afraid something was going to happen to the child," said Dr. Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Upstate Medical University.
A team of physicians at Upstate are the first in the world to use minimally invasive MRI guided laser technology to treat a rare pediatric brain disease that leads to many symptoms.
The technology has also been used to successfully treat epilepsy and other brain related disorders.
"It’s just amazing to see everyday, is it something different she's going to do. Her walking, she has better balance," explained Arianna’s mother Jennifer Failla.
"We have been able to see firsthand the next day after the surgery how this procedure is changing the quality of life of these patients and their families in a faster way," said Dr. Tovar-Spinoza
"That's why I'm here to try and help, to let people know that they are available here, whether they're traveling or not traveling, this is helping," Jennifer said.
The doctors have only done a handful so far and say they are continuing to learn from the technology and keep discovering new applications for it.
Unlike current invasive procedures - once this treatment is over - doctors only need a small bandage and a single stitch with patients usually able to return home the following day.