May 27, 2018

Drama in the Operating Room at Scheider Children's Medical Center of Israel: Emergency Neurosurgery Saves Life of 10-Year Old Ilai.

MDI Ilai Neurosurgey

Drama at Schneider Children’s: within minutes of his arrival at the hospital, 10-year-old Ilai was transferred to the operating room to undergo lifesaving surgery to remove a cyst in his brain. Ilai complained for several days of a headache. The doctor initially told him to drink enough water and to take analgesics for the pain. After his condition began to deteriorate, he was referred to a hospital in the center of the country close to his home. There, he underwent a CT scan revealing a large colloid (containing gel-like fluid) cyst in his brain which caused a severe and repetitive accumulation of brain fluid in the brain chambers, posing an immediate threat to his life.

Due to his complex medical condition, Ilai was transferred directly to Schneider Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit headed by Dr. Elhanan Nahum, while under sedation and on a ventilator. During pre-surgical preparation, Dr. Gili Kadmon, senior physician in the Unit, noticed that one of Ilai’s pupils had become enlarged, indicating high intercranial pressure - a prelude to brain collapse and impending death. Dr. Kadmon responded immediately and administered hypertonic fluid to temporarily reduce brain volume, giving them precious time to arrive at the operating theater.

The operation commenced within minutes under the leadership of Dr. Amir Kershenovich, Director of the Neurosurgical Unit at Schneider Children’s, Dr. Yaacov Katz, Director of the Surgical Suite and Department of Anesthesia, and Dr. Yuri Barak. The first and most critical stage of the operation was to drain the accumulated fluid in the brain’s vesicles. Thereafter, the team removed the cyst imbedded deep in the brain through the innovative technique of minimal invasive surgery. The successful procedure ensued about two hours and Ilai was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Once he was fully recovered, he was discharged home.

Dr. Kershenovich commented, “I perform hundreds of complicated and emergency neurosurgeries, yet this time I was especially emotional about the ability to save life. There was great drama in the operating room because time was working against us. Ilai arrived literally at the last minute, when every fateful second counted. The success of the operation was due to the excellent professional collaboration between hospital teams.”