Fast Company on Synaptive

Dr. Lloyd Zucker, a Florida-based brain surgeon, likens his job to flying a plane. When he goes into someone’s skull to operate, he has to navigate the nerve fibers, and like a pilot flying by buildings, he wants to avoid damage. To avoid a crash, Zucker uses brain scans as maps. To figure out the best pathway, he works with a radiologist to interpret the MRI, a process he likens to something like “flying blind”—not a very encouraging metaphor to hear from someone operating on people’s brains. “The scary thing is that if you look at the brain,” he said in an interview with a local Florida news station, “all the fibers that exist within the brain, we can’t see them. When we go below the surface of the brain, we have no idea what’s really there.” Yikes.

Thanks to a new technology called Bright Matter Planning from Synaptive Medical, though, Zucker can now see the brain’s airspace, so to speak. “If I was to fly through Fort Lauderdale, now I can fly through the buildings because I know where the buildings are,” explained Zucker, who started using the visualization technology about six months ago.

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