Oklahoma hospital achieves global first with robotic brain procedure on child

KOKH - June 12, 2024 5:46 am

Oklahoma hospital achieves global first with robotic brain procedure on child (OU Health)

The Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health has successfully performed the world’s first robotic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure in a pediatric patient.

DBS is a surgical technique that involves the use of robotics to implant electrodes in specific brain regions.

Karleigh Fry, age 8, has rapid-onset primary dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle movement.

Fry was paralyzed and could not walk, eat or sit up on her own.

Her care team at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and Bethany Children’s Health Center decided that Fry would be a good candidate for this new procedure.

“This marked the global debut of using a robot from our operating rooms to perform DBS in a child, setting a precedent not only in Oklahoma but also across the United States and worldwide,” said Dr. Andrew Jea M.D., Oklahoma Children’s Hospital pediatric neurosurgeon.

After the neurostimulator was activated, Fry could lower and relax her arms within minutes, something she couldn’t do before the procedure.

“Her arms used to lock up to the point we would put socks on her hands because she would scratch her neck,” said Trisha Fry, Karleigh’s mother. “There’s definitely been some improvements, even from the moment they turned it on.”


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