Infographic: How awake brain surgery saves lives

How Awake Brain Surgery Transforms Lives

Awake brain surgery is used to treat brain tumors and epileptic seizures near areas that control language, movement or cognition.

When the patient is alert, surgeons can ask questions and request specific movements or responses from the patient.

Monitoring brain performance as the surgeon operates helps ensure the brain remains safe while the tumor is removed.

The technology behind awake brain surgery.

Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI).

  • Allows precise images of the brain.
  • Enables doctors to have the most current information to guide them during surgery.

Brain mapping with electrical stimulation.

Enables the surgeons to functionally map specific portions of the tumor-involved brain.

Advanced intraoperative monitoring.

Care team monitors neurological cognitive functions, including:

  • Movement
  • Sensation
  • Complex-problem solving
  • Language

Computer-assisted brain surgery.

Guided by a GPS-like 3D brain map, cutting edge technologies allow neurosurgeons to:

  • Safely remove maximum amount of the tumor.
  • See and remove hidden regions of the tumor not visible on standard MRIs.

Benefits to the patient.

Minimizes risk to critical areas of the brain.

  • Patient responses during surgery reveal exactly which portions of the tumor-involved brain control speech, comprehension and other skills.
  • This is important because brain tumors induce changes in the locations of critical brain functions in a process called "plasticity" and "rewiring."

Real-time feedback of neurological and cognitive functions from the awake patient keeps them safe while the brain tumor is removed.

  • Care team and patients work together to ensure functions most important to the patient are monitored and preserved.

Allows doctors to remove the maximum amount of tumor.

  • More tumor can be removed if the surgeon is confident that critical brain functions are remaining safe throughout the surgery.
  • Patients with tumors once considered "too risky" are now candidates for surgery.

Helps more patients enjoy a higher quality of life.

Removing more tumor safely enhances outcomes and quality of life.