Intraoperative Brain Mapping

Also known as: brain mapping, awake brain surgery.

What is intraoperative awake brain mapping?

Intraoperative brain mapping is a form of brain surgery performed while the patient is awake. It is done for patients with tumors or lesions near critical functional brain regions and require the patient to be responsive and able to communicate with the surgeon during the procedure.

What happens during the procedure?

The patient is numbed with anesthesia, and a nerve block is used to block pain. Then the doctor uses electrodes to stimulate parts of the brain, and creates a computer-generated map of functional areas of the brain to avoid. The surgeon will then remove as much of the tumor or lesion as possible without impacting any function areas of the brain during the procedure.

Is any special preparation needed?

A number of tests and a thorough medical history are required before this procedure. Certain groups, such as those with obesity or sleep apnea, may be at risk during intraoperative brain mapping.

What are the risk factors?

Intraoperative brain mapping increases the duration of surgery, but has a risk of provoking seizures.


Reviewed by: Prasanna Jayakar, MD, PhD.

This page was last updated on: August 11, 2020 01:29 PM

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