Doctors are making inoperable brain tumors treatable with a new imaging system that works like a GPS for neurosurgeons.
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Melissa Madeline: Newly weds Stacy and Jeff Buzzard quickly learned the meaning of in sickness and in health. Stacy Buzzard: That was just a few days after we were married that it got to the point where I can't do anything, I remember saying to my husband I know I'm dying. Melissa Madeline: She had a big size tumor covering a quarter of her brain. Stacy Buzzard: I can remember screaming at home and telling that I feel like someone was stabbing my eyes out. Melissa Madeline: Doctors designed the computer program specifically for Stacy, using four different imaging technologies, MRI, Functional MRI, Diffusion Tensor Imaging and CT Angiography. Surgeons mapped out a 3-D image of the tumor and brain. Dr. James Leach: These purple areas here are actually the blood vessels. Melissa Madeline: With this clear picture the tumor went form inoperable to treatable, because doctors could see the vital vessels and maneuver around them. Dr. John Tew: The size of the tumor was so large that I needed to know where the arteries and veins were located. Dr. James Leach: This allows you to basically sort of a virtual surgery, okay, before actually going in and doing the surgery on the patients. Melissa Madeline: Doctors removed 90% of Stacy's tumor without harming healthy brain tissue. She was talking and walking the same night. Dr. John Tew: It was a blessing, there is no question, I saw it as a blessing. Dr. John Tew: She had radiation and chemo to treat the remaining tumor, this is her final treatment. The last treatment and Stacy hopes the beginning of a new life. Stacy Buzzard: I'm really exited about the future and I feel very optimistic and positive. Melissa Madeline: I'm Melissa Madeline reporting.