This "hi-tech" concept has become a reality in the last several years. A conventional video image of a patient lying on the operating table is combined with MRI scans to locate key structural components of the brain and tumor. This allows the surgeon to see into the brain of a patient in a new way - virtually. Using this virtual image, the surgeon can make the best plan to enter the brain and remove the tumor, avoiding important brain structures and blood vessels.
Once the surgery is underway, taking new MRI images of the patient's brain allows the surgeon to check his or her progress, see if the position of anything has changed, and look for remaining pieces of the tumor. This new technology helps make brain surgery safer and less damaging, can help reduce the time spent in surgery, reduce blood loss, allows for removal of all the accessible tumor in one operation and sometimes allows operations that before would have been considered too risky.