The Montreal Children’s Hospital unveils cutting edge intraoperative MRI

Montreal – October 26, 2009: On any ordinary day, six year old Emilie Gagnon gets up and heads off to grade one at her elementary school in Beauce. But October 19 was no ordinary day. Instead of taking the bus to school Emilie was wheeled in to a new operating room at The Montreal Children’s Hospital where she underwent brain surgery.

Emilie suffers from epilepsy caused by a tumour located on her occipital lobe, the rear most portion of the brain which houses the visual cortex, the part of the brain that interprets what our eyes see. Emilie’s tumour was the size of a large egg. The roots of the tumour penetrated deep into her brain. These roots bear a striking resemblance to grey matter making it difficult for surgeons to detect the direction they are growing and where they end.

Emilie was the first child to undergo brain surgery in The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC’s new Pediatric Interventional Brain Suite, home to the first intraoperative magnetic resonance (MRI) in a Canadian pediatric hospital.

"We're incredibly pleased to be the first pediatric hospital in the country to able to offer our patients the benefit of this remarkable new technology," says Dr. Harvey Guyda, Associate Executive Director of The Montreal Children's Hospital. "Equipment like this is helping us transform how we care for our patients-- a transformation that will take another major step forward when shovels hit the ground later this year for the new Montreal Children's Hospital at the Glen Campus."

This new technology gives the three neurosurgeons at The Montreal Children’s Hospital unprecedented views of the brain before and during surgery thus improving the accuracy of procedures.

“The new intraoperative MRI gives us a tremendous advantage as we navigate through the brain to remove tumours,” says Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer, Chief-of-surgery and a member of the neurosurgery team.

source: Montreal Childrens Hospital

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