Large number of specialist procedures are performed at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital every year. These include operations to treat epilepsy and brain cancers. In epilepsy surgery the area of brain where seizures originate is removed whilst in brain surgery operations the surgery will remove the cancerous tissue. To ensure the best quality of life for the patient after surgery it is crucial that the areas of the brain that are responsible for important daily functions, such as speech and movement are preserved.
The Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) equipment, when added to the current, high-specification MRI scanner, will enhance the ability to do this in a non-invasive manner. fMRI is a new technique that can pinpoint a multitude of functional areas within the brain, providing very important information.
Epilepsy and Neurosurgery:
Sheffield is the second largest epilepsy surgery centre in the UK. Epilepsy surgery needs to meet 2 criteria. The first is to establish where the brain seizures start and the second is to ensure that the area can be removed leaving the patient with no long term disabling defects. The fMRI helps answer the second criteria safely and non-invasively. 80% of epilepsy operations are on the temporal lobes of the brain. During surgery, surgeons are keen not to damage language and memory function. The fMRI can help to determine the localisation of language and memory functions in the brain.
Cancer and Neurosurgery:
Edges of brain tumours are often difficult to define. The fMRI will provide surgeons with additional confidence to operate safely based on information obtained before the surgery takes place.