What is IONM?

What is IONM and how will it be used during my surgery?

Has your surgeon taken the extra steps to optimize the best results from your surgery? Research has proven Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring, or IONM, to be effective in decreasing the chance of nerve damage and providing patients with better surgery results. Biotronic employs highly specialized technologists to monitor your nervous system during surgery, you are in good hands when we are assisting your surgeon. Our monitoring staff focuses on your specific needs, providing feedback that can allow the surgeon and anesthesiologist to correct the course of surgery, preventing short and long term neural damage, and then will provide reporting data to hospitals and surgeons. If you have questions about our services, be sure to ask your surgeon before your surgery for clarification about IONM, and how it can help preserve your nervous system’s function.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON THE DAY OF MY SURGERY?

A Biotronic technologist will meet with you in the preoperative area as you prep for surgery. He or she will discuss the monitoring with you and perform a brief neurologic exam by applying noninvasive electrodes to your arms and legs. These electrodes will be used to monitor your unique neural functions associated with the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Any surgical procedure that involves your surgeon operating close to delicate nerves inherently places those nerves at risk. The integrity of any structure at risk can be monitored using various techniques. Some electrodes that may be used during your surgery come in the form of small needles attached to monitoring wires. If these needle electrodes are used they will only be placed on you after you are asleep in the operating room and taken out before you wake up from surgery. This is to ensure that you will not feel any discomfort from the monitoring used during your surgery. Once the electrodes are in place they are connected to specialized monitoring equipment which is used to run tests on your nervous system. If there are any changes in your responses the technologist will inform your surgeon who will identify the cause and take the appropriate steps to protect you. Following your procedure, the technologist will check to make sure that there haven’t been any changes in the function of your nerves. The technologist will perform another brief postop neurologic exam making sure that your nervous system is performing properly.

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