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Apollo System

Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery Technology for Stroke Patients

The Apollo System is a minimally invasive surgical device that allows neurosurgeons to repair bleeding deep inside the brain from a hemorrhagic stroke with much less difficulty for the patient.

The Apollo System consists of a surgical wand that combines vacuum pressure, irrigation, and internal vibration energy to gently and rapidly remove tissue and fluid through the smallest possible channel.

Using the Apollo System, the surgeon inserts an endoscope through a small hole in a patient's skull, and uses medical imaging to guide it to the site of bleeding. Then the tiny Apollo wand passes through the endoscope and works like a vacuum to suction out the excess blood, relieving pressure and swelling.

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital is the first hospital in the South Sound to offer the Apollo technology.

In minor cases of hemorrhagic stroke — where when a weakened or enlarged blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds — the rupture produces only a small amount of bleeding and pressure, and can be managed without surgery. But in more serious cases, a blood clot from a hemorrhagic stroke is large enough to put significant pressure on the brain and lead to brain damage.

If the blood clot is deep enough, it might not be possible to reach using traditional surgical methods. And even if it is reachable, traditional open craniotomy — in which part of the skull is removed to expose the brain for surgery — can result in long hospital stays and leave patients at greater risk for complications and infection.

The Apollo System offers benefits to patients such as:

  • A minimally invasive procedure involving a small incision and opening in the skull
  • Minimal sutures, typically only one stitch
  • Little or no hair removal
  • A shorter procedure time
  • A shorter recovery time and hospital stay
  • Reduced scarring compared with open surgical procedures
  • The possibility of better clinical outcomes

Symptoms of Stroke? Call 911

A stroke is a life-threatening emergency. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a stroke, dial 911 immediately. The sooner a stroke is diagnoses and treated, the better chances patients have for recovery.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Face drooping on one side or an uneven smile
  • Weakness or numbness in one arm and the inability to raise one arm
  • Difficulty speaking