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Brain Surgery

Neurosurgeon Bob Carter takes a breather as neurosurgery resident Matt MacDougal prepares the surgical site. In the background, anesthesiologist Brian Lemkuil keeps tabs on patient Krista McFadden’s vital signs.

Neurosurgeon Bob Carter takes a breather as neurosurgery resident Matt MacDougal prepares the surgical site. In the background, anesthesiologist Brian Lemkuil keeps tabs on patient Krista McFadden’s vital signs.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Only a small portion of McFadden’s brain, about the size of a plum, is exposed. The rest of her head is swathed in gauze.

Only a small portion of McFadden’s brain, about the size of a plum, is exposed. The rest of her head is swathed in gauze.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

As surgeons apply a minute electrical current to parts of McFadden’s brain, neuropsychologist Marc Norman shows McFadden a series of pictures, and asks her to describe what she sees. Based on her responses, Norman and the surgeons can pinpoint exactly which parts of her brain control speech. That tells the doctors what areas to avoid when removing the tumor.

As surgeons apply a minute electrical current to parts of McFadden’s brain, neuropsychologist Marc Norman shows McFadden a series of pictures, and asks her to describe what she sees. Based on her responses, Norman and the surgeons can pinpoint exactly which parts of her brain control speech. That tells the doctors what areas to avoid when removing the tumor.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Dr. Carter probes into McFadden’s brain.

Dr. Carter probes into McFadden’s brain.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Surgeons begin removing McFadden’s tumor.

Surgeons begin removing McFadden’s tumor.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Dr. Norman talks with McFadden. She has a microphone next to her mouth so that surgeons can hear her responses.

Dr. Norman talks with McFadden. She has a microphone next to her mouth so that surgeons can hear her responses.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Surgeons rely on a three-dimensional image of McFadden’s brain to help them as they remove her tumor.

Surgeons rely on a three-dimensional image of McFadden’s brain to help them as they remove her tumor.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Surgeons get ready to close McFadden’s incision and replace piece of skull.

Surgeons get ready to close McFadden’s incision and replace piece of skull.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

McFadden is wheeled to surgical intensive care unit after her procedure.

McFadden is wheeled to surgical intensive care unit after her procedure.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

McFadden heads to surgical intensive care unit.

McFadden heads to surgical intensive care unit.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

Dr. Carter tells McFadden’s husband Clay that her surgery went well. Carter doesn’t think McFadden will need radiation or chemotherapy.

Dr. Carter tells McFadden’s husband Clay that her surgery went well. Carter doesn’t think McFadden will need radiation or chemotherapy.

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

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