Before performing brain surgery to remove a tumor or abnormal brain tissue, doctors need to have the best possible picture of what is going on inside a patient’s head.
That’s the role of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)—a procedure that’s often performed at Yale Medicine before invasive operations.
Using this technology, neuroradiologists share a patient’s image results with neurosurgeons, who can then determine which areas to target and which ones to avoid. It’s a noninvasive and pain-free test that can make surgery safer and more successful.
“There are space and time components to the imaging that help us find the parts of the brain that control motor function or language,” says William B. Zucconi, MD, a Yale Medicine neuroradiologist. “It’s almost like acquiring a little movie of the brain thinking.”