“Magic Wand Appeal” funded by the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea’s Appeal

Purchase of a Sonowand neurosurgical device

1-year fundraising campaign from May 2012-April 2013, Machine purchased in November 2013 (completed). NB as a result of this campaign, Imperial NHS Trust matched funds with the purchase of a second Sonowand machine


Investigator: Kevin O’Neill

Lay summary: Part of our research strategy is in the clinical arena, seeking new and revolutionary surgical tools and methods.  Key to this  is a piece of equipment called a Sonowand, which has been used clinically with great success at Charing Cross, so much so that they now need a second one to replace the older model and further develop its capabilities.

The Sonowand is a state-of-the-art neuro-navigational system that converts pre-operative MRI scans into a virtual reconstruction of a patient’s brain.  It is used to navigate during surgery, but the pre-operative MRI images become less reliable as the brain shifts during tumour resection. More importantly, Sonowand provides high-resolution ultra-sound that can be used during the operation to provide 3-dimensional images that will update the MRI images and guide surgical resection, improving both the extent and the accuracy of resection.

We now have statistics proving that patient survival and outcomes are better if they have been resected with Sonowand equipment.  Our longer-term goal is to develop add-ons to the tool to provide 3-D head-up displays for the surgeon’s interface during surgery.  This could revolutionise brain tumour surgery and complement the clinical trials that are planned as part of our campaign.