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 removing brain tumors 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.
Neuroscience Center neurosurgeons now use intraoperative MRI during surgery so they can more completely remove tumors the first time. Our neurosurgeons have the most experience with high field strength movable intraoperative MRI of any hospital in the United States. Since 2008, nearly 400 cases have been performed.
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 iMRI, 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 will lead to better precision in complicated neurosurgery techniques, likely meaning fewer repeat surgeries for brain tumor patients.
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, neurology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, neuroradiology, nuclear medicine, otolaryngology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery. The addition of intraoperative MRI will allow this team to continue to provide the most advanced care available anywhere to patients with brain tumors and other brain disorders.
For a referral to a Washington University neurologist or neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.