MIAMI. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Nearly 5,000 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year. Now new technology is helping doctors remove these tumors and save children from additional surgery.
Willie and Pleshette Young know raising five kids isn’t easy, but nothing could have prepared them when Willie Jr.,6, got sick.
Willie, Willie Jr.’s father told Ivanhoe, “Out of nowhere it was,’ I’m having headaches dad, I’m having headaches mom.”
A CT scan detected a life-threatening situation. Willie Jr. was rushed to Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami for emergency surgery.
Toba Niazi, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital detailed, “He had a lot of pressure on his brain from a mass that was growing in the center of his brain.”
Doctors had to remove the tumor right away. It often takes more than one surgery. Now intraoperative MRI is changing that.
“What this technology does is it brings MRI imaging, direct imaging, of the brain without radiation into the operating room,” said John Ragheb, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The iMRI allows doctors to check their work during or right after surgery.
“If there’s a piece of that tumor that's remaining that we weren't able to discern during surgery then we can go in and take that last piece out,” explained Dr. Niazi, which is preventing the child from another operation and anesthesia.
“Any sort of lesion in the brain, I think this really needs to be the gold standard,” continued Dr. Niazi.
Thanks to the iMRI, doctors were able to remove most of Willie Jr.’s tumor without causing damage. Willie Jr.’s mother Pleshette told Ivanhoe, “I just thank god and the technology that was used during the surgery to bring our baby back.”
So Willie Jr. can keep playing with his siblings for years to come. Doctors say they will continue to monitor Willie Jr.’s condition very closely to see if further treatment is needed.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Janna Ross, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Judy Reich, Videographer.