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When a patient needs surgery, the first step is to create a computer-assisted surgical plan. This plan includes a personalized brain map used to guide the surgical procedure. It is sometimes referred to as “stereotactic image guidance,” “surgical navigation” or “neuronavigation.”   

The Image Guided Surgery System (IGS) is a surgical concept and set of methods that uses computer technology for presurgical planning and guidance of surgical interventions. It is also referred to as "stereotactic image guidance," "computer assisted surgery," "surgical navigation" or "neuronavigation." The Navigation system is manufactured by Brainlab and is referred to as the VectorVision® sky Navigation Station or Curve Navigation System. Before your surgery, a computer assisted surgical plan is developed for each brain cancer and tumor patient. This plan, a personalized brain map, is imported into Brainsuite navigation and is used to guide the surgical procedure. iPlan Net® is the specialized software used for planning. This innovative cloud, or network-based application, allows for location-independent planning, collaborative session sharing and seamless integration with our Saint Thomas' Integrated Neuroscience Center radiosurgery platform.

Saint Thomas West Hospital is one of the nation's first hospitals to utilize iMRIs intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) technology for the treatment of brain cancer and tumors.

The iMRI brings high resolution imaging capabilities directly into the operating roomduring surgery without ever moving the patient from the operating room table. Within the UNITY System, the magnetic resonance imaging technology, its ceiling-mounted transport system and magnetic resonance-compatible operating room tables allow the surgeon to keep the patient in the best possible position for surgery.In addition to providing surgeons with real-time images, iMRI also offers these benefits:

  • Sharper imagery that can be updated during the procedure
  • Better, more accurate diagnoses
  • More thorough removal of brain tumors – this technology  almost eliminates the need for re-operation and helps prevent injury to key brain functions, giving the patient a better quality of life