IONM FAQs

These frequently asked questions can help you better understand what to expect from your IONM services.

Medsurant Monitoring provides professional and affordable intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) services to hospitals and physicians. We have an expert staff of highly trained clinicians with years of experience in surgical monitoring, under the supervision of neurologists board-trained in neurophysiology (the study of the function of the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves). Our mission is simple: to provide high-quality information to surgeons during surgery so that patients receive high-quality care.

Intraoperative neuromonitoring protects patients by continuously monitoring the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and nerves) when it is at risk during surgery. Depending on the procedure, a variety of tests can be used to measure the nervous system function. A trained Medsurant Monitoring clinician, under the supervision of a neurologist, constantly monitors the information from the tests. If there are any changes or potential problems, our clinician can immediately alert the surgeon and nurses.

The purpose of IONM is to protect your nervous system. The real-time information of IONM can often prevent neurological injury (damage to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves). When neurological injury does occur, the immediate feedback from IONM allows the surgeon and nurses to quickly respond to minimize long-term post-operative damage. IONM provides an additional layer of safety for both you and your surgeon.

Typically, IONM works through measuring and creating electrical impulses and determining their effect on the nervous system. To gather this information, electrodes are attached to your wrist, ankles, scalp, and sometimes to specific muscle groups, depending on the type of surgery. The electrodes record the response of your nervous system to electrical stimulus and can indicate changes in the functioning of your nervous system. If there are significant changes, the clinician will immediately alert the surgeon and, if necessary, appropriate intervention is initiated.

Before going into the operating room, you may meet your neuro monitorist on the day of surgery. They may take a quick medical history, perform a directed physical assessment, and have you complete some general paperwork (to include a consent for monitoring as well as an assignment of benefits). In most cases, after anesthesia sedates you, electrodes may be placed on your head, arms, and legs. These electrodes are hooked-up to our advanced monitoring system, which helps your monitorist interpret the signals that your nervous system transmits.

During your surgery, when using intraoperative neuromonitoring your monitorist will provide feedback on the status of your nervous system to your surgeon and anesthesia provider. After the surgery is done, all of the monitoring electrodes will be safely removed and disposed of.

Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) is provided at the request of your surgeon as an additional safety feature.

IONM provides critical information about your neurological system to your surgeon during surgery to protect you and to increase the chance of a positive surgical outcome.

The risks of IONM are minimal. There is a remote chance of infection from the electrodes that are attached to your body to monitor you. Despite having IONM during your surgery, there remains a possibility that you will have neurological deficits (problems with your brain, spinal cord or nerves) as a result of your surgery. Consult with your surgeon to discuss the risks of your surgery.

Your insurance carrier may pay for a portion of the costs associated with IONM. This amount depends on your specific carrier and your insurance plan. Please check with your insurance carrier to find out about coverage for Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM). You may be responsible for payment of the difference.

Please feel free to contact our office at 720-214-2549, or fill out our contact form.