Our Neurosurgery Technologies
When you choose NYU Langone’s Brain and Spine Tumor Center for your care, you have access to the latest medical technology delivered by skilled doctors whose specialty is treating people who have brain tumors.
Advanced Image-Guided Technologies
Differentiating a tumor from the normal brain can be challenging for surgeons in the operating room. When surgeons can’t properly see a tumor, it is possible that part of the tumor could be left behind during surgery. Our surgeons have adopted a suite of three cutting-edge systems that create an unparalleled ability to visualize a tumor that would otherwise be invisible.
Stimulated Raman Histology
Pioneered by members of the Brain and Spine Tumor Center, stimulated Raman histology is an imaging technology that helps surgeons see a tumor on a microscopic scale during surgery. This also helps surgeons avoid areas of the brain and spine that are not affected by the tumor.
For suspected high-grade gliomas and glioblastomas, our surgeons use specialized microscopes to see parts of a tumor that are lit up by a fluorescent dye, which is given intravenously to a patient a few hours before surgery. Using this approach, surgeons are able to ensure more complete tumor removal, minimizing the need for repeat operations.
MRI is the gold standard for measuring completeness of tumor removal in brain tumor surgery. Traditionally, MRI scans are obtained after an operation is complete in the radiology department. At NYU Langone, two of our operating rooms offer intraoperative MRI, allowing our neurosurgeons to make real-time decisions based on imaging results during surgery and ensuring no part of the tumor has been left behind.
Frameless Stereotactic Craniotomy
During brain tumor surgery, your doctor is guided by a computer system that uses information from diagnostic tests, such as MRI and CT scans, to pinpoint the exact location of your tumor, which aids in its removal. This process, called frameless stereotactic craniotomy, increases surgical precision and was pioneered here at NYU Langone. The incisions are smaller than in conventional surgery, the procedure is less invasive, and the patient outcomes are better.
Stereotactic equipment and methods also allow for the safe removal of tumors located deep within the brain. In the past, these tumors were often considered inoperable.
Functional Intraoperative Mapping for Brain Tumor Surgery
When tumors—most often gliomas—form in the parts of the brain that are involved in movement or language, functional intraoperative mapping helps your surgeon avoid these areas while removing the tumor. Our specialists have extensive expertise in this technique and have excellent results in preserving language and motor function in our patients.
Neuromonitoring for Brain and Spine Tumor Surgery
Our neuromonitoring team observes how the nerves that affect motor and sensory function are responding during surgery to maximize safety. We also use a similar technology to monitor facial nerves during skull base tumor surgery. Neuromonitoring has a long and rich history at NYU Langone, where many of these techniques were pioneered.
Tractography for Brain Tumor and Spine Tumor Surgery
With the help of advanced computer technology called tractography, our specialists use MRI screening to identify the paths the brain uses to carry important information about movement and other functions. We can then plan surgery for someone with glioma or a metastatic brain tumor in such a way as to minimize injury to these pathways.
Surgical approaches through the nose may be used to remove pituitary adenomas, as well as other tumors that occur along the skull base, including meningioma, craniopharyngioma, and chordoma. We use an endonasal endoscope, which is a long, thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera on it. This provides the surgeon with an excellent view of both the tumor and the skull base.
Endonasal endoscopy is minimally invasive and performed with the help of our ear, nose, and throat specialists.
During transventricular neuroendoscopy, a small fiber-optic camera is used that allows surgeons to look inside the ventricles, or fluid chambers, of the brain. It is also helpful in the biopsy or removal of intraventricular tumors. This technique can be used to create an opening in cysts and other structures to allow fluid drainage and to relieve increased intracranial pressure or hydrocephalus.
Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Tumors
During stereotactic radiosurgery, your neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist work together to provide treatment for metastatic brain tumors, meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and other types of brain tumors. Gamma Knife® technology uses focused beams to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to the surrounding brain tissue. Radiosurgery can target multiple tumors simultaneously.
This is an outpatient procedure, which means a hospital stay is not required. There is no incision, so there is no need for general anesthesia.
Endovascular Embolization and Chemotherapy Infusion for Brain Tumors
For tumors in which there is extensive involvement with blood vessels, our interventional neuroradiology specialists perform embolization to block the blood supply to the tumor, making surgical removal easier. These specialists also use advanced techniques that allow for the infusion of chemotherapy drugs into the blood supply of certain types of brain tumors.