MultiCare’s Tacoma General Hospital has become the first hospital in the South Sound to debut a new, minimally invasive surgical device to help doctors stem bleeding in the brain.

The Apollo System uses an endoscope and surgical wand to introduce vacuum pressure, internal vibrations, and irrigation to remove tissue and fluid from the region of brain bleeding in the case of a hemorrhagic stroke. Rather than requiring a large, open surgical procedure, the Apollo system can be used through a small hole in the patient’s skull, with the wand working like a vacuum to remove excess blood and relieve pressure on the brain.

Developed by California-based Penumbra, Inc., the technology was first launched into clinical use in 2014.

The procedure has been highlighted on MultiCare’s Vitals blog, where Bill Morris, the company’s chief of neurosurgery said that the hope is that the device helps cut the time patients spend in the ICU by about half.

“We're hopeful that this new technology will be effective in helping our patients achieve better clinical outcomes,” says Morris on the Vitals blog, “and that it will improve their quality of life.”