Neurosurgeons from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have used a high-definition imaging device to see inside the human brain during surgery. The technique allows the specialists to map pathways safer than before, in order to reach and remove tumors.
The device is called BrightMatter Guide, and its working principles are similar to the ones of a GPS. It provides real-time imaging of the brain areas, with bright colors and 3D imaging.
3D Imaging - Mapping The Brain
Surgeons can now be guided during a brain surgery employing this technique. Until now, surgeons have mostly used conventional MRI scans, which offered a two-dimensional mapping of the brain area.
The technology allows neurosurgeons to enter the brain in a more safely manner, without possibly disturbing important brain areas during the procedure, thanks to this technique which allows them to be very specific in their approach.
"An estimated 62,000 primary brain tumors and 150,000 metastatic brain tumors are diagnosed annually in the U.S. This new tool offers us a tremendous amount of hope for better outcomes for many of our patients," noted Keith L. Black, MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery.
New Technique For Safer Brain Surgery
One of the advantages of this technology is that it allows to develop important pathways in the patient's brain in order to plan a brain corridor to map the area and identify the brain tumor. This gives a hands-up display and see the pathways in real time during the surgery.
This technology could replace the surgical microscope thorough this technique, which provides a much more sensitive means to scan the brain in a very detailed manner.
The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is the first facility in California to have started using the 3D imaging technology in brain surgeries. The device is equipped with a camera, and it follows the neurosurgeon's tools, in order to map the brain area around the region that is being subjected to operation.
This medical facility conducts approximately 600 brain surgeries annually. This technique will maximize the effects of 3D imaging in order to make brain surgeries safer for people, as the medical staff can now evaluate in real-time the issues that may occur during surgery.
People's brain pathways can differ significantly depending on the anatomy of their tumors; the way they are created; and the areas they affect. Depending on these coordinates, the surgery can have higher risks for the wellbeing of the patients.
Prior to this technique, brain surgeons have struggled to create MRI mapping techniques that would scan the brain tumors to a more detailed extent. However, this new method could revolutionize the way brain surgeries are conducted.