Imaging for the Neurosurgery Department

The Department of Neurosurgery uses state-of-the-art imaging technology when performing open surgery on brain tumors. Advanced imaging maps the brain structure and function, which helps surgeons identify vital areas of the brain. Advanced surgical microscopes and specially designed instruments are used to remove tumors.

The Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute is the exclusive West Coast research center for ZEISS, an imaging technology leader. This relationship gives Cedars-Sinai patients access to new imaging technology, even before they become widely available on the market.

The 21st Century Neurosurgical Operating Room is one of the most advanced operating suites in the world, with a true intraoperative MRI. This allows our surgeons to perform brain surgery with real-time imaging information. This MRI imaging greatly enhances our surgeons' ability to operate on the brain with precision, and dramatically improves the prognosis for patients who are afflicted with brain tumors, cerebral aneurysms and other neurological disorders.

The intraoperative MRI brain scan allows visualization of complex three-dimensional structures in the brain during surgery to guide the removal of brain tumors and other lesions in the brain. Intraoperative MRI improves surgical planning, and it allows continuous assessment of surgical progress, monitoring of potential intraoperative complications, evaluation of the extent of brain tumors, resection and immediate postoperative imaging. Intraoperative MRI also enables more image-complete resection of brain tumors, improves diagnostic accuracy in brain biopsy procedures and aids in the removal of pituitary brain tumors and other lesions.

Technology and Advancements

Surgeons at the Department of Neurosurgery perform more than 300 operations for brain tumors each year. Their goal, however, is to make surgery for brain tumors obsolete. Our surgeons are working on a way to destroy brain tumors using microwaves, which would make surgery unnecessary. This technology could also be used to destroy breast or prostate tumors. Microwave thermal ablation, a process being developed at the Institute that uses thermal energy to destroy cancer cells, could do away with surgery for many types of cancer.

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