MRI Guided Brain Surgery Removes Tumor

As a potential MRI technology student, you may be aware of the variety of ways you can help patients, especially by helping a doctor diagnose medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, torn ligaments, tendonitis, cancer and strokes, just to name a few. What you may not know is MRIs can help patients in other ways.

In October 2013, an MRI-guided brain surgery helped remove a tumor that was causing a patient 250 seizures a month. After 24 years of debilitating seizures that made sleep nearly impossible, Chris Murto can now experience the freedom always thought to be impossible.

Until two months ago, the tumor near his brain was considered too risky for surgery, and was causing close to 250 seizures each month. About one in every 200,000 people is affected by hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) tumors. While they’re considered benign, they can lead to extensive cognitive damage as a result of the incessant seizures and can deeply affect quality of life for those with HH.

Chris and his family were overjoyed when he was selected to undergo a minimally invasive form of surgery that uses MRI-guided laser technology. If it weren’t for MRI technology, Chris would still be suffering seizures daily.

Doctors claim the technology can help thousands of patients worldwide. Before the technology, patients with HH had to undergo invasive surgery to remove the mass. Not only is invasive surgery dangerous in itself, but the risk of infection post-surgery is high. The new laser surgery usually only requires a single stitch and an overnight stay in the hospital, as opposed to month long recoveries.