This technique is used during complex surgical procedures, especially those that involve manipulation of the spinal cord.

IOM allows a neurotechnologist to monitor the health of the nervous system in real time during surgery. This greatly reduces the risk of surgery-related nerve damage.

There is nothing you need to do in addition to your instructions for the primary surgical procedure. The monitoring is a part of the operation and there are no additional special requirements.

A series of electrodes, both surface and subdermal, are attached to the body. Each patient may have different electrodes and arrangements based upon the individual’s surgery and condition. Nerve pathways are monitored by sending electrical impulses between stimulating and receiving electrodes and measuring the speed and intensity of the signals. If signal responses differ from established standards, the surgeon can quickly identify the problem (such as a compressed or stretched nerve). If needed, a correction can be made before damage becomes permanent.

There are different types of intraoperative monitoring.
1. Motor Evoked Potentials monitor signals sent from brain to specific muscle groups.
2. Somatosensory Evoked Potentials/Dermatome Evoked Potentials monitor signals from sensory areas to the brain.
3. Electromyography monitors signals within specific muscle groups during surgery to parts of the spine.

Monitoring is a part of the main surgical procedure and has no additive effect on your ability to function. You may notice some of the needle sticks from the needles used to perform the neuromonitoring.

Intraoperative Monitoring is not a treatment but is a part of the surgical procedure you are having. Usage of monitoring can improve safety and decrease the risk for adverse events by providing the surgeon with specific information about your nervous system during the procedure.