Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

IONM FAQs

IntraOperative Neurophysiological Monitoring or intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment in order to evaluate the multiple functions of the spinal cord and nerves during surgery. The role of IONM is to provide the surgeon with immediate feedback and warning before nerve injury has occurred. IONM has been proven to increase patient safety and improve outcomes in surgical procedures.

IONM has become the gold standard of patient care regarding spine, brain, vascular, and ENT surgeries. In recent years, the number of IONM cases has grown exponentially as a result of advances in IONM systems, improved monitoring procedures, and the surgeons’ increased awareness about the benefits of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM). INN services offer significant benefits to the patient, surgeon, and hospital.

In the operating room, electrodes ranging from sticky pads to small needles will be placed on areas of the body that could possibly be affected by the surgery. Areas of the body can range from the limbs, torso, head, and face. The small needles are NOT placed while awake, they are placed when you are asleep. Baseline recordings are taken before surgery begins and are repeated throughout the procedure. When your Surgical Neurophysiologist sees a change in the signal on their screen, the surgeon is notified and can take appropriate action to prevent a nerve injury. All electrodes and/or small needles are removed before you leave the operating room.

Risk for infection is minimal. Your skin will be disinfected before needles are placed (needles are sterile and disposed of after every single use). Mild soreness following surgery may be experienced where the small needles were placed.

You may receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company that details our charges, their allowances, and payments. In most cases, your insurance company will pay us directly. However, in the case they pay you, or in the cases of deductible or co-insurances, we will bill you directly for reimbursement. For more information or to contact our Billing Department, please email billing@intranerve.com.

EEG FAQs

An EEG is short for an electroencephalogram. An EEG is the gold standard test used by physicians to diagnose or rule out seizures/epilepsy.

An EEG is helpful to diagnose and treat seizure disorders, to look for the cause of confusion, and to evaluate head injuries, tumors, infections, degenerative diseases, and metabolic disturbances that affect the brain. It is also used to evaluate sleep disorders and to investigate periods of unconsciousness.

No. Small button-like electrodes are placed in precise spots on the head. For most patients a combination of special paste and glue is used to ensure the electrodes stay in place. At the end of the EEG study a solution is used to remove the glue, and electrodes and paste are washed away with damp wash cloths.

An EEG records brain wave activity using electrodes to pick up electrical signals from brain cells. When someone has an epileptic seizure, their brain activity changes. This change can be seen on the EEG.

In order for your physician to provide you with the best care, they have ordered a Video EEG that will allow viewing of the brainwave activity AND a video/audio recording simultaneously. A neurologist examines the EEG recording for abnormalities in the brain-wave pattern, which may reflect diseases of the nervous system.

The video and audio recording is continuous, so if a family member happens to walk in front of the video camera, they will be on the video briefly. The physicians are only interested in seeing the patient on video to capture clinically significant events.

Neurologists are reading the EEG everyday and in communication with the primary care physician. The EEG is a part of a patient’s medical record, and upon request, can be obtained.

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