Intra-operative MRI Brain Surgery

Dr. Michael Vogelbaum removes a tumor while his patient is awake.
4:45 | 11/12/13

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Transcript for Intra-operative MRI Brain Surgery
So Matt had a type of tumor that arises from the brain called -- glioma. These are in general. Form of cancer but it's a cancer that generally stays in the brain it doesn't spread outside of the -- outside of the brain. The there are number of important important features of glioma is that help. Predict how aggressive they're going to be not all clean homeless are highly aggressive some are less aggressive. Fortunately it turns out -- is a less aggressive form of -- called equity to. Glioma but that said even agree to from the illness can grow and cause problems and and still need to be treated at least surgically. And then often with other medical therapies depending upon other features that we look at in the tumor. All glioma is can be dangerous. The low -- -- -- are much less dangerous than high grade glioma is in terms of the immediate risk. But over time. They -- they all can be. -- serious disease. The treatment really starts. With surgery. To at least establish the diagnosis. And and then hopefully we can remove as much of the obvious tumor as possible because we know that if we can remove. The tumor that we can see on the MR -- on the imaging studies. That the long term prognosis isn't his is generally better. Patients who can have all the obvious tumor removed generally will live longer than those who can't have the obvious tumor removed. On the flip side though there is a risk part of that equation. And the risk is if removing the tumor. Is associated with a significant new. Loss of function in neurological deficit. That can actually shorten survival so we as surgeons are always playing a balancing act in terms -- trying to remove as much tumor as possible. And yet avoid producing a new. Neurological deficit we have a number of schools now allow us to try to achieve that balance between removing as much as possible. And yet avoiding new neurological deficits. Any standard. Operation to remove a brain tumor. Uses something of an image guidance system where we use -- patients MRI to help guide us during the surgery. Define the margins of the tumor very often these tumors don't look very different from the surrounding normal brain. So we use the image guidance to help us and that's what you'll find it and most hospitals today. We have a number of additional tools though that help us to both. Improve the amount the -- -- -- section or the amount that we can remove. During surgery. As well as to minimize the risk as much as possible. So one of those tools is intra operative MRI. With intra operative samurai we can actually take another -- picture while we're doing surgery to see if there's anything left. And in in his case. We actually did that twice during the procedure and found some additional tumor that we were able to -- successfully. On the other side of the equation that the risk side of the equation we have tools to help us to reduce the risk -- for him that was a very important part of it. Because his tumor was very close to right up against somebody. Areas -- control movement on the left side of the body. And for anyone that's important particularly for an athlete that's that's going to be even more important. Not so. We were able to start mapping function. Before we did the surgery with something called functional memorized a special type of MRI where we can actually. Localized where specific functions are in the brain and see how they relate to the tumor that were planning to remove. So we started without and then intra operative Lee were able to actually -- awake for part of the procedure while we were doing surgery. Where we can actually -- function. As we were doing the -- -- procedure. We assess it both with having one -- the team members. Asking him to move his left side while were operating and then we also use -- small amounts of current. To stimulate parts of the brain that we're considering. Removing as part of this new -- of the tumor. And with with that information we're able to figure out when -- -- getting close to some areas that we did not want to remove. And we avoided those areas successfully. So in the end with a combination of the intra operative MRI and the mapping techniques were able to use including the -- monitoring. We're able to -- all of the obvious Toomer and he woke up just fine.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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