New procedure makes brain surgery safer
The procedure allows safety margins around nerve tracts to be more accurately determined.
Washington: The Fraunhofer MEVIS Institute for Medical Image Computing in Bremen, Germany has pioneered a new procedure that would help neurosurgeons intervene the brain safely and remove tumors without causing unnecessary damage.
Before the brain tumor can be removed, it is important to clearly understand the functional areas of the brain, which are interconnected via nerve pathways, also known as nerve fiber tracts.
These nerve tracts must be protected as much as possible; otherwise, permanent dysfunction could occur.
If nerve tracts become damaged during an operation, there is a risk that distant functional areas connected to the tumor-afflicted part of the brain could be affected and induce lasting sensory, motor, and cognitive impairment.
To minimize these risks, surgeons should be provided with dependable knowledge about patient`s brain anatomy and function that is as realistic and precise as possible.
This has been made possible by The Fraunhofer MEVIS’ new method that analyzes uncertainty in patient-specific images, modeling, and reconstruction and incorporates this information into reconstructions of patient data.
This procedure allows safety margins around nerve tracts in the brain to be more accurately determined.
In addition, the reliability of the reconstructed data is calculated to supply the surgeon with accurate information concerning nerve tract locations, paths, and intersections and to construct safety margins around the nerve fiber tracts.
This gives the neurosurgeon a reliable prognosis concerning where the incision in the brain should be made and which safety margins should be chosen to avoid harming nerve tracts and irreversibly damaging important functional areas.