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Children's hospital surgeons to be able to see inside the brain in real time

OHSU unveils joint imaging and surgery suite at Doernbecher


COURTESY PHOTO: OHSU - Surgeons at OHSU use MRI technology to look at a brain. Portland has become the first city on the West Coast to combine a real-time iMRI machine with a surgery suite at a children’s hospital.

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health and Science University unveiled the new 10,000 square-foot surgery and imaging suite during a press conference and celebration on Wednesday evening.

The $19 million new facility will allow neurosurgeons to see the brain much more clearly during operations, allowing them to detect and repair conditions that arise during surgery. This, doctors expect, will lessen the need for additional surgeries and boost the success rate.

“Brain surgery often succeeds or fails by a millimeter, but during surgery, the brain can shift by 10 times that much,” said Dr. Nathan Selden, head of OHSU’s Department of Neurological Surgery, in a news release. “Using this 3-Tesla iMRI, our surgeons will create new and highly precise brain maps during surgery that will give children a better chance for cure.”

Surgeons will begin removing cancerous tumors from their young patients in the new facility in March. Additionally, the new 18,000-pound magnet in the iMRI (interoperative magnetic resonance imaging) equipment opens the doors for better care of many other neurological conditions, such as epilepsy.

Because the iMRI is placed on overhead tracks, medical staff will be able to move the equipment rather than the patient, reducing risk.

The new equipment was purchased with help from a generous donation from the family of Arnold and Leona Poletiek.

COURTESY PHOTO: OHSU - The new $19 million surgery suite at OHSU's Doernbecher Children's Hospital includes an interoperative MRI machine that staff can move into position around the patient using an overhead track.