Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

A brighter future for patients needing brain surgery

A brighter future for patients needing brain surgery

Monday, January 4, 2016

In December a new state-of-the-art neurosurgical microscope was unveiled at Addenbrooke’s for treating patients with serious brain illnesses, brain tumours, head injuries and other neurological conditions.

The fluorescence-enabled microscope was bought following a £304,369 appeal launched by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), the dedicated charity for Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals, in the summer of 2014.

The new microscope is the second of its kind at the hospitals and uses innovative photo-dynamic imaging technology and coloured fluorescent light so that surgeons can see highly magnified brain tissue that would otherwise be invisible to the human eye.

This equipment transforms the quality of surgery and care that can be provided for neurosurgical patients and dramatically improves treatment, recovery and outcomes.

Patients like mum of three, Rachel Ratcliffe, who at 38 had emergency surgery at Addenbrooke’s with the first fluorescence microscope after two aneurysms (bleeds) were found on her brain. She said: “If I hadn’t been treated at Addenbrooke’s with all their specialist equipment and knowledge, I might not have survived. I’m so grateful.”

Rikin Trivedi, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Addenbrooke’s, describes the difference having the second microscope makes for patients:

“This piece of cutting-edge equipment helps us deliver life-saving care. The fluorescence capability of the microscope facilitates a level of quality control that helps us to achieve outstanding surgical results for our patients.

We are absolutely delighted to have this second microscope. 

In the past, our team which treats patients with aneurysms, and our colleagues who treat patients with brain cancer, could only use the one microscope, in turns. It meant that this precious piece of equipment had to be wheeled between theatres.

Not only did this put this delicate machine at risk of damage but it also had an impact on the way procedures could be scheduled. Now, with a second microscope in place, both cancer and aneurysm patients can receive surgery at the same time and unforeseen complications will no longer cause distress to patients waiting for surgery.

Thank you for all the wonderful support from the community that has made this possible.”

For more information about this equipment and how you can support the work of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) to make a difference for patients, visit: