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Soda Can Sized Surgical Robot Aids In Brain Surgery for Parkinson’s Patients

Dr. Nizam Razack is the first in the world to use Mazor robot on the brain at Florida Hospital Celebration Health

CELEBRATION, Fla., Nov. 21, 2013 – Clarita Beslack of Apopka is looking at her life with new possibilities.  She is walking unassisted and she is looking forward to traveling and playing with her grandchildren.  They seem like simple goals but for more than five years Beslack’s Parkinson’s symptoms have been getting worse, leaving her close to being completely wheelchair bound.

“The walker was getting difficult for me to use and I was just frozen; I couldn’t move my legs at all,” said Beslack.  “The medication I was on just wasn’t helping my keep my mobility.”

That’s when one of her physicians started talking with her about a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation.  It puts electrodes in the brain directly on the areas that control the tremors or rigidity in patients allowing them to control their movements.  But it doesn’t come without risk.

“These areas where we place the electrodes in the brain are also very close to the locations that control breathing,” said Dr. Nizam Razack, Florida Hospital Celebration Health neurosurgeon.  “This surgery has to be exact and the robot increases accuracy by pinpointing the locations the surgeon identified prior to surgery.”

During the surgery, Dr. Razack used a robot called the  Renaissance™ System developed by Mazor Robotics. Using 3-D images and X-rays, the doctor maps out where the electrodes in the brain are going to be placed, before even scrubbing into the operating room. The soda can sized robot is placed over the patient’s head then it shows the doctor exactly where to place the electrodes in the patient’s brain during surgery. Because of the mapping done pre-surgery, the physicians don’t need to continually look at live X-rays, so the amount of radiation the staff and patient is exposed to is greatly reduced.

Beslack admits to being really nervous about allowing someone to operate on her brain, but now after seeing her mobility increase day-by-day, her dreams of being able to play with her grandkids and travel seem much closer to reality.  Shortly after surgery Beslack returned to visit her friends at her Florida Hospital Parkinson’s Support Group to talk to them about her experience.

“They are all asking questions about the surgery and some are considering having it done as well,” said Beslack.  “One woman said the transformation in me was an inspiration to her.  I know it has certainly changed my life for the better.”

For more information on the Mazor Robot at Florida Hospital Celebration Health visit  For media inquiries only, please contact Florida Hospital Media Relations at 407-303-8217.