When a tumor grows in the brain, it can occur in all sorts of odd shapes and sizes. The goal of removing a tumor during surgery is to remove as many abnormal cells as possible. In other parts of the body where tumors grow, surgeons often remove tissue around a tumor as well as the tumor itself to increase the chances that all known cancerous tissue is removed. In the brain, removing normal brain tissue can affect brain function.
What is Intraoperative MRI?
Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a real-time, computer-assisted surgical navigation tool. It allows surgeons to pinpoint the location of tumors and lesions, including those previously considered inoperable.
How do surgeons use Intraoperative MRI?
With intraoperative MRI, while your child is undergoing surgery, he or she also is undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging scan that maps the brain in real time, so the greatest number of tumor cells can be removed without harming nearby healthy cells.
What are the benefits of Intraoperative MRI?
Using intraoperative MRI helps surgeons pinpoint the location of tumors and lesions, which has several benefits:
Some tumors previously considered inoperable can be surgically removed.
Post-operative treatment, such as radiation and chemotherapy, are more effective when more of the tumor cells have been removed.
Patients may be able to go a longer period of time without a tumor recurrence, or may not have a tumor recurrence at all.
Read a story about Intra-operative MRI at Childrens in Children's Practice Magazine.
If you are a family member looking for a Children's hematologist or oncologist or wanting to schedule an appointment, please call our clinic at Children's – Minneapolis at (612) 813-5940.
If you are a health professional looking for consultation or referral information, please call Children's Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free) and ask for the on-call hematologist/oncologist.