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Precision Brain Surgery Video – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

41 Views· 01/17/24
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Alexandra J. Golby, MD, Director, Image-guided Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses technological advancements to improve the precision of surgery to remove brain tumors.

It’s estimated that each year nearly 80,000 people are diagnosed with primary brain tumors and 100,000 with metastatic brain tumors. Nearly everybody is at risk for developing a brain tumor. Brain tumors can affect people from childhood to the last years of their lives. Men are slightly more affected than women and the causes of most brain tumors are not known.

There are a number of unique challenges in treating brain tumors. One challenge is that primary tumors can have indistinct margins that are difficult to see. Another challenge is that the tissue around a brain tumor is uniquely important and may impact things like language, visual and motor function.

The AMIGO Suite, opened in 2011 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating Suite. It's an NIH-funded national center which was developed with the goal of translating technological advances into improvements in surgical and interventional care for patients. In the AMIGO Suite, there is an intraoperative MRI scanner which can be brought in and out of the operating room during surgery to help surgeons visualize a patient’s tumor better.

Image-guided surgery uses the information obtained from advanced imaging and translates that into the planning and execution of surgery by acquiring high resolution and specialty structural images of the brain and also functional images of the brain. These images can be registered to one another and then to the patient's head during surgery. This allows surgeons to pinpoint the location of the tumor as well as the areas that we would like to preserve, areas that serve critical brain functions are located.

One of the big challenges, even with image-guided surgery, is that as we perform the surgery, the configuration of the brain is changing, and we call that brain shift. And it's due to changes in the brain itself and also as we remove tissue, things are constantly shifting and moving. When we're talking about doing brain tumor surgery, a few millimeters of movement can be a big difference. How to measure and track brain shift is an important area of research and a number of technologies are being studied to understand how to measure brain shift during surgery.

The development of various intraoperative imaging technologies allows surgeons to provide the most accurate surgical treatment for each individual patient.

Learn more about precision brain surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:

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