Awake brain surgery is a type of procedure performed while you're awake to treat some brain (neurological) conditions, including some brain tumors or epileptic seizures. If your tumor or seizure center (epilepsy focus) is near the parts of your brain that control movement or speech, you may be awake during surgery to respond to your surgeon. Your responses help your surgeon ensure that he or she treats the precise area of your brain needing surgery. In addition, the procedure lowers the risk of damage to functional areas of your brain. Read more about awake brain surgery.
Awake brain surgery offers many advantages. People who have brain tumors or seizure centers (epileptic foci) near the functional brain tissue, whose conditions previously would have been considered inoperable, may have the option of awake brain surgery. Awake brain surgery may reduce the size of spreading brain tumors and it may prolong your life and improve your quality of life. As with any brain surgery, awake brain surgery has the potential for risks and complications including bleeding, infection, brain damage or death.
At Mayo Clinic, brain surgeons (neurosurgeons) work with an integrated team of doctors who have training in brain conditions (neurologists) and many other specialists.
Mayo Clinic doctors use computer-assisted brain surgery and intraoperative MRI during awake brain surgery. Mayo Clinic surgeons have experience performing awake brain surgery to remove brain tumors or epileptic foci that doctors previously considered inoperable.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked high performing for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.