Intraoperative fluorescence has been studied in various surgical fields to gain a better view of important structures, such as blood vessels and tumors. The House Institute Foundation’s research team used an injectable compound to enhance the identification of the tumor-nerve interface in patients undergoing vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) surgery. This technique uses light in near-infrared wavelengths to induce fluorescence of vestibular schwannomas and surrounding nerves, such as the facial nerve and the cochlear nerve. This enables surgeons to perform more accurate dissection of tumor tissue while preserving essential structures.
Future avenues of investigation include using the technology in other neurosurgical and neurotological procedures. Ultimately, this technique shows promise in improving facial nerve and hearing outcomes in vestibular schwannoma surgery.