According to researchers, "intraoperative language mapping" involves operating on an awake patient and mapping the anatomy of the patient's language function during the procedure. This helps surgeons identify which portions of the tumor can be safely removed without seriously damaging the patient's language function, states foodconsumer.org.
Dr. Nader Sanai and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco studied 250 patients who underwent the surgeries to remove deadly glioma brain tumors and found that overall, 1.6 percent of the patients developed permanent postoperative language deficits.
"This series of patients represents the largest study to date examining intraoperative language mapping for gliomas, and supports the use of language mapping as the rule, rather than the exception, for dominant hemisphere gliomas," Sanai said.
"The findings support the conclusion that cortical language mapping may be used as a safe and efficient adjunct to optimize glioma resection while preserving essential language sites."