Dr. Ciro Randazzo’s expertise extends far beyond the usual, as was illustrated in November 2014, when he generously donated his services in assisting a complex brain surgery.
Twelve-year-old Cesar Lopez was brought from his native Peru to New Jersey through the Healing the Children® New Jersey, Inc. organization. When pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Lauren Schwartz, took on the job to remove a plum-sized tumor from the left side of Lopez’ brain at St. Barnabas Hospital, she needed special assistance. She called on Dr. Randazzo, a vascular neurosurgeon, to assist her in Lopez’ surgery.
As Dr. Randazzo explained, her concern was that the tumor was very vascular (prone to bleeding) during surgery, so he used a special procedure to reduce the blood flow to the tumor in order to make the surgery safer. “There is always a risk with children because they have less total blood volume. They are more likely than adults to get into trouble with blood loss,” he explained.
The procedure he did was an embolization. Tumor embolization helps treat tumors by blocking the blood vessels that supply them. Many tumors are hypervascular, thus making surgical resection more difficult, risky and time consuming. Embolization prior to surgery can make resection easier by reducing blood loss during surgical resection and also improves visualization of the surgical site.
Embolization is a minimally invasive surgical technique (surgery through a small cut or incision), which enables the injection of medical grade “glue”, special tiny coils or sand-like particles directly into the blood vessels of the tumor. Dr. Randazzo used the “glue.”
The entire procedure is performed through a tiny plastic tube (catheter) inserted through the femoral artery in the leg. The catheter leads into the blood vessels of the tumor, using X-ray to guide its insertion to make sure the tube is in the right position before the glue is injected. The glue travels via the catheter into the blood vessels.
Cesar Lopez spent several months in hospitals, getting stronger after undergoing several surgeries by Dr.Schwartz, but Dr. Randazzo reports he is now recovered.
While Dr. Randazzo and IGEA Brain & Spine have done pro bono work, this is his first experience with a child from another country. He explained, “When we become neurosurgeons, some cases can be extremely difficult and complex, so it has to be a passion rather than just a job. These are the kind of cases you realize that no matter what happens, you’re willing to do it even if you don’t get paid. You can see the improvement in outcome and the impact on patients.”
Healing the Children® New Jersey (HTCNJ) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 with the vision to create a world where every child has access to quality medical care. Since 1981, HTCNJ has provided care to 33,000 children, helping nearly 1,000 children each year.
Attached is the letter of appreciation that Dr. Randazzo received from Healing the Children® New Jersey.