MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a powerful tool that allows neurosurgeons to see the difference between healthy and diseased brain. So powerful, that at Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Neuroscience Center, we’ve brought the MRI right into the operating room.
In most operating rooms, neurosurgeons must make their best estimation when operating on brain tissue during surgery. It isn't until an MRI is completed after surgery—sometimes days or weeks later—that the true success of the surgery is known.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital was the fourth hospital in the world to introduce intraoperative MRI, allowing our neurosurgeons to see MRI images during surgery so they can more more precisely remove damaged brain tissue while safeguarding areas of the brain that are critical for function. The neurosurgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital now perform more than 200 MRI-guided surgeries per year.
The Most Sophisticated Neurosurgical Operating Room in the Midwest
The technology that gives neurosurgeons access to real-time MRI images in the OR is the most advanced imaging technology in the world. The equipment, called VISIUS Surgical Theatre, has a ceiling mount that allows it to move between two operating rooms, so separate neurosurgical teams can conduct two procedures simultaneously. If needed, videoconference capability allows our neurosurgeons to consult with other medical experts worldwide during the procedure.
A Breakthrough in Technology and Care
While neurosurgeons enjoy the advanced technology of VISIUS, patients are the real benefactors. The use of this imaging system is much safer as the patient is never moved once positioned for surgery. The high resolution images provided by the system leads to better precision in complicated neurosurgery techniques, allowing for more targeted removal of the region of brain causing seizures.
This advanced technology is coupled with a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to treatment that brings together the specialized expertise of physicians representing the fields of neurosurgery and neurology, neuropathology and neuroradiology. The addition of intraoperative MRI allows the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center team to continue to provide the most advanced care available anywhere to patients with epilepsy.
For a referral to a Washington University neurologist or neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call