This section is directed toward patients who may have received or may receive
monitoring for a past or future surgery.
Here you will find brief descriptions and explanations of intraoperative monitoring. For a more in depth description of modalities (types of tests) please click here.
If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us for more information.
What is intraoperative monitoring?
Intraoperative monitoring tests the nerves, spinal cord, and brain of a person during a surgery where these structures may be at risk. The types of testing used are extremely safe and can be done on an awake patient in a clinical setting. It has been proven beneficial to use these tests during a surgery to help monitor and prevent changes.
Why do we use IONM?
Neuromonitoring is used during any surgery near a vital part of the nervous system. Almost any type of surgery where neural structures are involved can benefit from the use of neuromonitoring for protection.
How does it work?
For the most common surgeries, a trained and qualified technologist will apply painless surface electrodes on the patientís wrists and ankles. These electrodes will send small electrical pulses that will travel up the nerve and spinal cord to the brain. Electrodes placed on the scalp will record these small pulses. A specialized computer will then amplify the small pulses and display them onto a computer screen which is monitored continuously by a qualified technologist and neurologist.
For more complex surgeries, various types of tests will be used in conjunction with each other to monitor structures; these are dependent on the area of the surgery.