Michael Brassloff had a tumor in the front portion of his brain, but there was good news – the tumor was benign. When the tumor started growing, he underwent radiation therapy, but developed side effects from the radiation. His surgeon believed those symptoms could be cured if the necrotic tissue from the radiation and the tumor were destroyed in a laser surgery. With the laser surgery, Brassloff, then 71, expected to quickly return to his normal activities. During the operation, performed in 2015, the surgeon used a medical device known as the NeuroBlate 2.2 mm Sidefire, a carbon dioxide-cooled laser probe inserted through a hole in the skull to assist in eliminating the tumor and destroying the necrotic tissue. The device uses heat from the laser to destroy targeted tissue in the brain, and had pressurized carbon dioxide circulated within the tip to prevent overheating. But once inside Brassloff’s brain, the tip of the Neuroblate broke off, releasing the pressurized carbon dioxide directly into his brain. Brassloff suffered a hemorrhage and lapsed into a coma. Post operatively, it was discovered he had massive hemorrhages in both lobes of his brain. To this day, Brassloff suffers difficulty with balance, walking, emotional stability, word choice and dexterity, and he has developed a seizure disorder as well as Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Recently, the maker of the medical device, Minnesota-based Monteris Medical Inc. agreed to pay Brassloff $12.75 milion. And the Neuroblate 2.2 mm Sidefire probe, whose tip was found to fracture, crack or break off, has been recalled.
Another, similar device called the Visualase MRI-Guided Laser Ablation System has been found to also possibly cause severe injury to patients. The Visualase system, made by Medtronic, can reportedly overheat and damage healthy tissue. A total 1,283 of the devices were the subject of an urgent recall.
Our firm takes cases nationwide involving injury possibly caused by the NeuroBlate or Visualase systems. If you or a loved one suffered a serious brain injury following surgery using NeuroBlate or Visualase, please contact us for a free evaluation of your case.
Kline & Specter, which reached the $12.75 million settlement for Brassloff, handles litigation involving medical devices such as the Neuroblate and Visualase systems. Our law firm is among the largest plaintiffs’ firms nationwide, with more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also highly experienced medical doctors. We provide free evaluations for medical device cases.