Intraoperative MRI at University of Michigan

Intraoperative MRI at University of Michigan

Real-time information for enhanced decision-making

Precision and accuracy are two essential components of effectively removing tumors of the brain and spinal cord.

The University of Michigan neurosurgery team uses a special type of technology known as Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) to give surgeons a detailed view of brain and spinal cord tumors during surgery.  The high resolution images provided by the system lead to better precision in complicated neurosurgery operations, with the goal of reducing the risk of neurological injury during the procedure, reducing the likelihood of an incomplete resection and the eventual need for reoperation.

What is Intraoperative MRI?

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) allows neurosurgeons to see the difference between healthy and diseased tissue.

It is often difficult for surgeons to see whether the entire tumor has been removed during surgery to remove complex brain or spinal cord tumors.  In most operating rooms, surgeons must make their best estimation in the OR based on MRI scans performed well before the patient enters the operating room.  It’s only after the operation that an MRI can determine whether the procedure was successful, and often times additional surgeries are required to remove portions of diseased tissue that remain after the initial operation.

University of Michigan has brought the power of MRI technology into the operating room, so surgeons can more completely remove the tumor in a single operation. 

This technology also allows surgeons to minimize the risk of damaging other parts of the brain during the removal of the tumor.  Without this technology, it is sometimes necessary to stop resecting before the entire tumor is removed to reduce the chance of damaging vital areas around the tumor.

How does it work?

University of Michigan has leveraged the most advanced intraoperative MRI technology in the world to bring MRI into our operating room. 

The MRI equipment is mounted onto strong rails in the ceiling to allow it to move into and out of the active surgical area of the operating room during the surgical procedure, without requiring the patient to be moved at all.

If needed, videoconference capability allows our neurosurgeons to consult with other medical experts throughout UMHS during the procedure.

The people behind the tools

While U-M’s intraoperative MRI equipment is the most advanced technology available, the Michigan Difference is truly the people operating the equipment at University of Michigan.

U-M brings together the expertise of specialists in neurosurgery, neurology, radiology, oncology, radiation oncology, otolaryngology, and ophthalmology. Our pediatric and adult neurosurgery programs have consistently been rated among the nation’s top programs by U.S. News & World Report, and our deep expertise gives us a unique ability to provide advanced care to patients with brain tumors virtually unparalleled anywhere.

Take the next step

Schedule an appointment by calling us one of our brain tumor clinics:

  • Pediatric neurosurgery:  734-936-5062
  • Adult neuro-oncology:  734-647-8906