Recognised nationally and internationally for its pioneering spirit, the ‘Brain and Spine Centre’ at Asiri Central Hospital, Colombo marked a significant milestone recently of having performed 10,000 neurosurgical procedures since it was established in June 2010.
As the country’s best private sector Neurosurgical Centre and only world class facility, the Asiri Brain and Spine Centre is home to state-of-the-art equipment, and cutting-edge neurosurgical procedures.
Headed by eminent Senior Consultant, Neurosurgeon Dr. Sunil Perera, the Centre has over the years demonstrated unparalleled surgical achievements including the first private sector hospital to perform epilepsy surgery and is the only hospital in the country currently performing this procedure. It is also the only hospital to perform surgery for Parkinson's disease (Deep Brain Stimulation) in the country.
Breaking new ground, the hospital was the first facility to acquire a Neuro-navigation and Intraoperative Monitoring system which are advanced technology improving the safety and effectiveness of surgery enabling the best possible neurosurgical results.
“What we do now is top of the grade neurosurgery. This is one of the best neurosurgical systems,” said Dr. Perera.
The hospital has treated an average of 1000 patients a year over the past five years and maintained an impressive mortality rate, far lower than accepted standards in developed countries. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the team and their commitment to transform as many lives as possible.
“We are on par with American standards. Our results are probably better. Here the rate is less than 1% morbidity. We have brought it down to very low levels,” noted Dr. Perera.
The comprehensive range of services offered at the Centre includes a large scope of treatments and conditions. The depth of neurological expertise also covers advanced diagnoses with compassionate care for complex neurological conditions and issues in both adults and children.
“The hospital has got everything that needs to be done for neurosurgery. It is available because we have everything organised very properly. The equipment, specialties, we have brought it up to that level,” Dr Perera added.
The wide range of services provided by the Centre includes Brain and Spinal Injury Management Service, Comprehensive Back and Neck Pain Management - Surgery for Disc Prolapse and Cervical Disc Replacement, Degenerative Spine Management, Correction and Fusion for Spondylolysthesis and correction of scoliosis, Trigeminal Neuralgia Management Service such as Radiofrequency Ablation (RF), Micro Vascular Decompression is offered while Brain Haemorrhage Management Service, Stroke Management Service and Brain Tumour Service for Paediatric and Pituitary tumours is also available.
In addition to the Hydrocephalus Management Service for Paediatric and Adults, the hospital offers Cerebral Aneurysm and Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) Management Service, Spine Tumour Management Service - Vertebral Intradural and Intra Medullary tumours.
Under Dr. Perera’s tutelage, life-changing scoliosis surgery was also performed by the ‘Brain and Spine’ Team of the hospital. This was the first-time a neurosurgical team has conducted such a highly advanced as well as potentially dangerous surgery.
“We also do what we call awake neurosurgery – where the patient is kept awake during the brain surgery. A different team continues to map the areas and the patient talks to us and sings with us during that period,” explained Dr. Perera.
At the hospital, assisting Dr. Perera is a multidisciplinary team. These include neurosugeons, neuro anesthetists, other ancillary staff, nurses and trained technicians all coming together to provide expert care.
Since it was established, the Centre has grown into a dedicated neurosurgery ward with 40 rooms for patients, a dedicated neurosurgical ICU with 14 separate rooms with the latest equipment and a neurosurgery theatre complex with three separate theatres and the most advanced equipment including comprehensive neuro Imaging Centre with MRI, CT scan and angiography facilities.
Asiri Central’s Brain and Spine Centre has proved to be crucial lifeline for many. Radeen de Silva, a little boy aged three years was diagnosed with a large cerebella tumour. The team lead by Dr. Perera performed a Ventricular peritoneal shunt insertion to successfully remove the tumour.
Rajindra, the boy’s father explains, “My son started getting headaches and then became unsteady on his feet and even his speech was affected. An MRI confirmed he had a brain tumour. Dr. Sunil informed us that surgery was required. We were very scared but when many people told us he was the best we were reassured that our son will be cured.”
Tearfully thanking everyone responsible for saving her son, Rajindra’s mother said, “We were told it was life threatening and we lost all hope, we were very scared. The operation was a success and my son is now cured. Today as we take our son home it is one of the happiest days of my life in a long time. I cannot thank Dr. Perera and the hospital enough for giving our son back to us. He is back on his feet faster than expected, smiling and playful. Our blessings on everyone involved.”