The Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA) Neurosurgery Department here successfully performed an awake craniotomy on a female patient yesterday, making it the first Ministry of Health East Coast hospital to perform the procedure.

Pahang Health director Datuk Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said the surgery on the 38-year-old patient with cavernoma-related epilepsy lasted five hours.

She said the awake approach has several advantages over conventional methods and it is safe and effective for patients with complex tumours that are located near critical structures deep in the brain.

"Through this method of surgery, surgeons can accurately map the location of the tumour, minimise post-operative nerve dysfunction, in addition to reducing seizures and time spent in the intensive care unit (ICU).

"In fact after the surgery, the patient suffers much less pain compared to undergoing the procedure under general anaesthesia," she said in a statement Tuesday night.

In addition, she said the surgery has provided the hospital’s neurosurgeons and staff the knowledge and skills needed to perform awake surgical techniques safely and effectively in the future.

The surgery was performed by consultant neurosurgeon Dr Mohd Aidil Mohd Nor together with neurosurgery specialists Dr P Ramissh and Dr Vinodh Varaya Perumall from HTAA.

Former Penang Hospital consultant neurosurgeon Dr Mohammed Azman Mohammad Raffiq and consultant neuroanaesthesiologist Dr Nahemah Hasanaly of Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital, Perak were invited to help make this surgery a success.

"The Pahang Health Department is very proud of this achievement and it is hoped that more patients, especially from the state, would be able to benefit from this treatment in line with current advances in technology,” said Dr Nor Azimi.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency