Our pediatric neurosurgeons can perform some of the most advanced surgical techniques in our operating rooms, which are equipped with leading edge technology that allows surgeons to see deep into the brain in the most minimally-invasive ways possible.
Intraoperative MRI (iMRI)
Our staff uses the Central Ohio’s only pediatric intraoperative MRI (iMRI). This equipment creates accurate, detailed pictures of the brain, which guide neurosurgeons in removing brain tumors and other abnormalities during surgery. This area is part of a complete MRI suite, a $7 million investment in equipment and construction at the Nationwide Children's main campus.
One of the main benefits of iMRI technology is the ability to use it during operations that involve tumor removal. Typically, a neurosurgeon may remove as much of a tumor as possible during an operation, then follow up with a scan after surgery to see if any of the tumor was left behind. If there is tumor remaining, the patient may need a follow up operation. The use of the iMRI allows the neurosurgeon to look for remaining tumor or any other abnormalities during an operation, thus reducing the chance for multiple operations.
Additional Advanced Technology
One of the major advances in modern neurosurgery is the use of the neuroendoscope. The instrument is a slim rod with a lens in it that is attached to a camera and allows a neurosurgeon to clearly see and operate deep into the brain with minimal disruption of surrounding areas. Neuroendoscopes are often used during minimally invasive hydrocephalus, craniosynostosis, tumor, and skull base surgeries.
Another crucial device is the computerized navigation system which helps our neurosurgeons precisely target brain regions using virtual 3D models made from the images of the patient’s brain. This can be combined with intraoperative ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create real-time pictures of the inside of the brain and spinal cord on a computer monitor.
Using the iMRI and navigation systems, our neurosurgeons can offer minimally invasive laser ablation. Through this process, a thin catheter is carefully placed through a small opening with its tip precisely targeted to an abnormal part of the brain, such as a portion that generates seizures or has a tumor on it. Laser energy is then applied to destroy the area using heat, while the iMRI monitors the temperature of surrounding normal brain regions to protect them.
The neurosurgery team also works closely with the intraoperative neuromonitoring team for operations that involve the most sensitive portions of the brain and spinal cord. Throughout the surgery, the function of the patient’s nerve pathways is monitored on a computer to maximize the safety of the procedure.
Our technologically advanced and fully-equipped operating rooms enable our staff to guarantee each patient receives the best treatment for his or her brain, spine, or peripheral nerve condition.
Video: Technology in Action
In 2015, surgeons at Nationwide Children’s separated conjoined twins using the advanced technology available to them.