Cranial Surgery

Cranial Surgery: Meeting the Challenges

In 1962, Midas Rex® was founded by a general practitioner and neurosurgeon who believed better surgical tools could benefit both surgeons and patients. Today, we continue developing innovative cranial surgery products that improve patients' lives.

Advanced Surgical Technologies for Patient Care

Medtronic Offers Cranial Surgery Products

A craniotomy, endoscopic transnasal surgery, and other cranial and neurosurgical procedures involve unique challenges for accessing the brain and operating within the skull.

Surgical drills with optimum power, visibility, and control are essential, whether it’s to remove a tumor, treat arteriovenous malformation (AVM), or clip an aneurysm. When performing a craniotomy, this functionality helps quickly and cleanly drill through the skull, avoid dural laceration and damage to critical nerves, and replace the skull flap with minimal bone defects.

Minimally invasive endoscopic transnasal surgery is increasingly being used to remove skull base tumors. Endoscopic transnasal surgery is typically a combined surgical approach involving both a neurosurgeon and an ENT surgeon, where maximum visualization and access are key. Medtronic offers a complete selection of powered surgical instruments for cranial surgery, as well as innovative ENT products for combined skull base procedures. 

Powered Surgical Instruments

Midas Rex MR7 High-Speed Pneumatic Surgical Drills

For a craniotomy and other surgeries, the foot- or finger-controlled Midas Rex® MR7 is a powerful pneumatic surgical drill that delivers dynamic performance and durability with 72,000 rpm at 120 psi/8 bar. Using proprietary technology throughout, every component is carefully engineered and manufactured for exceptional power and performance when you need it most.*

Midas Rex Legend High-Speed Electric Surgical Drills

Our Midas Rex Legend EHS® Surgical Drills offer Midas Rex power and precision in a quiet electric system. With high torque and a compact size, the Legend Stylus® Surgical Drills are well-suited for endoscopic transnasal surgery and other cranial procedures that require precise surgical navigation. These small surgical drills offer excellent balance and maneuverability, with adjustable speeds from 200 to 75,000 rpm.

Midas Rex Legend Attachments and Dissecting Tools

Part of a convenient standardized platform, the interchangeable Legend® attachments and dissecting tools may be used with both the Midas Rex MR7 and Legend surgical drills. Our tools and attachments include craniotomes that follow the curve of the skull to help avoid nicking the dura, tapered tools, perforator drivers, and telescoping tubes.

Midas Rex Microsaws

Our electric Midas Rex Microsaws offer maximum reliability with minimum vibration, precise blades for multiple specialties, and integrated on-saw irrigation. We designed them with the guidance of 28 surgeons in seven specialties to provide an exceptionally versatile and high-performance system.

Triton High-Torque Handpiece

The electric Triton® High-Torque Handpiece delivers performance and reliability for cranial, spinal, and orthopaedic procedures. We also offer pneumatic Triton handpieces. All of our quick-release attachments and accessories for cutting, drilling, reaming, and pinning work with both electric and pneumatic Triton handpieces.

StealthStation System with Stealth 3D

Detail - Silhouette of tumor and vessels with the StealthStation System and Stealth3D surface rendering

Image-Guided Surgery Products

Image-guided surgery can enable safer, more thorough procedures in cranial, neurological, and skull base surgery. Using Medtronic's StealthStation® Navigation System or Fusion® ENT Navigation System, surgeons can visualize the patient’s anatomy in 3D prior to and during surgery while also seeing the exact location of their surgical instrumentation.

Manual Instruments

MicroFrance Wormald Anterior Skull Base and Pituitary Instrument Set

Designed with PJ Wormald, MD, these premier MicroFrance® instruments are made for both otolaryngologists and neurosurgeons in the combined endoscopic transnasal surgical approach to anterior skull base and pituitary procedures. Elongated malleable instruments with suction facilitate tissue elevation and tumor removal. The set also features low-profile scissors and forceps for soft tissue and thin bone resection during skull base surgery.

MicroFrance Wormald Bipolar Forceps with Suction

These forceps help achieve hemostasis during endoscopic sinus surgery and anterior skull base surgery. With a slim profile, fine tips, and integrated suction, the forceps’ innovative design facilitates optimum visualization and access to the pituitary.

MicroFrance Wormald Hemorrhage Control Set

This set addresses the challenge of large vessel hemorrhages during endoscopic sinus and anterior skull base surgery, offering remarkable visibility, access, and control. It includes various clamps, clip-applying forceps, a rotatable needle holder, and tray.

INVISx Cranial Fixation System Affixed

INVISx Cranial Fixation System in place

Cranial Repair Products

INVISx Cranial Fixation System

After a craniotomy, the INVISx® Cranial Fixation System may be used for skull flap replacement. This screwless cranial fixation system offers a simple, four-step procedure that can be completed quickly.

Durepair Dura Regeneration Matrix

Our innovative Durepair® product is a non-synthetic dura substitute. It uses patented technology to produce a strong, yet flexible collagen matrix that can be applied as an onlay or suturable graft. Over time, the Durepair matrix conforms to the patient's anatomy and remodels into native tissue.

Pre-Shaped Cranial Mesh Implants

These Pre-Shaped Cranial Mesh Implants offer speed, simplicity, and strength. Each implant is specially made for your patient, which can save valuable OR time. Low-profile countersunk holes may provide a more natural cosmetic result.

Additional Cranial Surgery Products

For more cranial and neurosurgical products, see our Neurologic Technologies Catalog.

* Compared to Midas Rex Legend Gold® System



Midas Rex: A Legacy of Innovation

Forest C. Barber, MD, invented and developed the Midas Rex Instrumentation System. Working with neurosurgeons during his internship in Fort Worth, Texas, he saw the need for a better way to access the brain surgically. He decided to develop a new craniotome and formed S&B Tools in 1962 with Dr. Ronald Smith, a Fort Worth neurosurgeon.


Drs. Barber and Smith created the first powered craniotomy drill called the Turbobit. This high-speed air motor could turn a cranial flap in two to three minutes-- a process that used to take hours. Although the two physicians soon ended their partnership, Dr. Barber continued refining the motor and its accessories.

A Legacy of Education

Susan Mitchell, PhD, organized and instructed the first Midas Rex Hands-On Workshop in 1977. The sister of Dr. Barber, she and her brother believed it would help surgeons and OR personnel gain practical experience with each instrument’s capabilities in a lab environment. The strong positive response from participants inspired Midas Rex to add more workshops and instructors, eventually renaming it the Midas Rex Institute.

Classic Midas Rex

The Midas Rex Classic

In 1980, Dr. Barber introduced the gold hexagonal-case Midas Rex Classic motor, which became the standard pneumatic system for more than 15 years. Until his death in 1991, Dr. Barber provided invaluable leadership to the company he founded.

Medtronic and the Future

In 1998, the company was sold to Medtronic and became Medtronic Midas Rex. Now part of Medtronic Neurosurgery, Midas Rex continues its strong partnership with surgeons and OR staff, providing innovative solutions that improve patients' lives and valuable training to healthcare professionals around the world.

Midas Rex Institute


The Midas Rex Institute offers hands-on training with advanced instrumentation for cranial, spinal, orthopaedic, and other surgeries


Attendees use the Midas Rex MR7 at a Midas Rex Institute workshop

Midas Rex e-Institute Specialty College

Interactive learning modules are available at our online education site, the Midas Rex e-Institute

The Midas Rex Institute® offers hands-on workshops for surgeons and surgical residents in advanced dissection skills using powered instrumentation. Courses for operating-room personnel focus on the needs of nurses who set up the surgical equipment in the OR.

Since 1976, more than 26,000 medical professionals have trained at the Midas Rex Institute. Most workshops are held at our main facility in Fort Worth, Texas. We also offer additional workshops in conjunction with major meetings, such as the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses.

In addition, one-day combination courses are available prior to many Saint Louis University Practical Anatomy Workshops.

Midas Rex e-Institute

The Midas Rex e-Institute® is a newly enhanced, interactive education website for healthcare professionals. This site offers open, unrestricted access to interactive learning about surgical anatomy, procedures, and technical instruction. It consists of three components: 

  • Specialty Colleges: Take interactive courses on anatomy and procedures presented by key surgeons and universities
  • e-Inservice Products: Download product instructions, take quizzes, and practice knowledge with an interactive Dissecting Tool and Attachment Selector
  • Hands-On Workshops: View calendars, course descriptions, and online registration for workshops at the Midas Rex Institute

Learn More

For more information or to register for workshops, call the Midas Rex Institute at (800) 643-2773 or visit

Last updated: 30 Apr 2013

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