(From Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor)
Surgery has undergone stunning advances in the past twenty years. We now remove gallbladders with an endoscope through an incision that's only an inch long.
We peek around the bowel and uterus with small telescopes with powerful cancers.
We can even repair hearts without sawing through the breast bone. The day had to come when we could apply the same technological advances to brain surgery.
That day is here. WATCH VIDEO
At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center a stunning breakthrough occurred. Two doctors, one a neurosurgeon, and the other an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, realized that they each had skills that complemented the other. Trying to figure out new ways to remove brain tumors without removing a piece of the skull, they talked about putting the endoscopes through the nose and entering the brain from below.
There were challenges. Was there enough room in a nose for the instruments? Would they be able to see enough? Were they risking damage to the eyes? If there was bleeding could they control it in such a confined space?
These doctors put their egos aside and realized that they were a good team. In the operating room they have an unspoken language and can sense each other's moves. They have designed surgical instruments for this very meticulous work and along the way they have transformed modern surgery.
People from around the world, many who have been told there is nothing to do for them, have come to Pittsburgh as their last hope. And Dr. Carl Snyderman and Dr. Amin Kassam travel the world teaching other teams of doctors how to carry on their innovations.
Endonasal brain surgery has been dubbed scarless surgery because the only incisions are inside the nose and invisible. I call it a surgical miracle.