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[Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery] Technology & the Neurosurgery Operating Rooms:

Neuro Control Room | Surgical Planning & IGS | Stereotactic Neurosurgery
Intra-Operative MRI
| Intra-Operative CT | Intra-Operative Electrophysiology
Neuro ORs | Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

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New Intraoperative MRI Advances Neurosurgery at MGH
 
[ MGH Hotline Article ]

MGH Neurosurgery recently added a new dimension in technology to further advance care for patients: the Polestar N-10 Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system.

The new device differs from other MRIs in that, rather than being heavy and stationary, it is compact enough to easily maneuver in a standard operating room.

"This is the MRI equivalent of a portable X-ray," says Robert Martuza, MD, chief of MGH Neurosurgery. The machine can be wheeled to the patient table during surgery and can be stored underneath the table when not in use.

Martuza also touts the MRI's benefits as a state-of-the-art surgical tool. "This device makes surgery safer for our patients," he says. "Physicians now can view images during the actual operation, rather than having to look at images made preoperatively and postoperatively. The MRI offers real-time visualization during all stages of brain surgery, so that neurosurgeons can plan the path of the surgery at every point."

The new MRI also gives a much more accurate road map of brain tumors, so that surgeons can clearly see where the tumor begins and normal tissue ends. This allows clinicians to verify that all of the tumor has been removed prior to ending the surgery – eliminating unnecessary second operations for patients. It also aids in quickly detecting possible intraoperative or postoperative problems.

This type of MRI first was used in Tel Aviv and Switzerland. It was brought to the MGH through the efforts of Brooke Swearingen, MD, of MGH Neurosurgery, who established contact with Odin Medical, the company that manufactures the machine. The MRI now is used in surgery at the MGH several times a week, and neurosurgeons have been pleased with the results.

The MRI's use in the operating rooms (OR) creates many possibilities. "This machine is easy to incorporate as a routine part of the OR, with regular instruments," explains Martuza. While large and bulky MRIs once prohibited surgeons from operating with standard neurosurgical instruments in the space they required, he says, "We now can perform complex neurosurgery with standard equipment, in a standard neurosurgery OR, with all of the necessary tools readily available. The machine can be quickly moved out of the way or can stay in place as needed."

Martuza expects that the intraoperative MRI eventually will be an asset not only for the eradication of brain tumors, but also for other types of neurosurgery, including pediatric neurosurgical procedures. "Its portability makes it an excellent candidate for surgery on the brain or spine of small children," he says.

In addition to the new MRI, MGH Neurosurgery also offers portable Computed Tomography (CT) scans in the OR and in the Intensive Care Unit. "Intraoperative imaging allows the surgeon to see changes within the brain as the surgery progresses," Martuza says. "We are one of the few hospitals to offer both an intraoperative MRI and portable CT scanning. Each has its own specific imaging advantages in the OR, and it is great to be able to make the best technology available to every patient."

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[Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery] Technology & the Neurosurgery Operating Rooms:

Neuro Control Room | Surgical Planning & IGS | Stereotactic Neurosurgery
Intra-Operative MRI
| Intra-Operative CT | Intra-Operative Electrophysiology
Neuro ORs | Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

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Disclaimer About Medical Information: The information and reference materials contained herein is intended solely for the information of the reader. It should not be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient's own physician. All visitors to this and associated sites from the Neurosurgical Service at MGH agree to read and abide by the the complete terms of legal agreement found at the Neurosurgery "disclaimer & legal agreement." See also: the MGH Disclaimer, the MGH Privacy Policy, and the MGH Interactive Program Disclaimer - Copyright 2005.
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