Dallas Ear Institute
7777 Forest Lane, Suite A-103, Dallas, TX 75230 | Phone: (972) 566-7600 | Fax: (972) 566-6560 | www.dallasear.com

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Facial Nerve Monitoring

Innovative, intraoperative NIM nerve monitoring systems enable surgeons to identify, confirm, and monitor motor nerve function to help reduce the risk of nerve damage during a variety of surgical procedures, including ENT surgery, otolaryngology, and general surgeries.

What Is Nerve Monitoring

Since introducing our first nerve monitoring system more than 20 years ago, we’ve continually advanced the technology. Our innovative, intraoperative NIM-Response® 3.0 and NIM-Neuro® 3.0 nerve integrity monitors enable surgeons to identify and confirm motor nerve function and monitor major motor nerves during ENT surgeries, as well as other operations performed by endocrine, general, and peripheral surgeons. The NIM® nerve monitoring systems monitor electromyographic (EMG) activity from multiple muscles during minimally invasive or traditional open surgeries. If there is a change in nerve function, the NIM system may provide visual and audible warnings to alert you. This helps reduce the risk of nerve damage during various surgeries, including ENT and general surgical procedures, improving safety and peace-of-mind for both surgeons and patients.

How It Works

Our NIM® Nerve Monitoring System is an electromyographic (EMG) monitor for intraoperative use during various surgeries, including ENT and general surgical procedures in which a nerve may be at risk due to unintentional manipulation. NIM nerve monitoring needle or surface electrodes are placed in the appropriate muscle locations in the patient for the procedure being performed. (Color-coded placement guides are included in the NIM software.)

These electrodes are connected to the NIM Nerve Monitoring System, which continuously monitors EMG activity from muscles innervated by the affected nerve. When a particular nerve has been activated or stimulated, the NIM System warns the surgeon and operating room staff, providing both visual alerts on the color touchscreen monitor and audio feedback to help minimize trauma to the nerve.

Surgeons can use monopolar and bipolar stimulating probes and dissection instruments with the NIM Nerve Monitoring System to assist in early nerve identification and confirmation. These tools may be used to locate, identify, and map the particular nerve and branches, as well as verify nerve function and integrity.

By combining sophisticated hardware electronics and intuitive software, our NIM Nerve Monitoring Systems help surgeons perform critical procedures while preserving nerve function and improving patient safety.

Why is it Needed

Even with a detailed knowledge of anatomy and surgical skill, motor nerves can sometimes be difficult to identify during surgery due to disease, a previous operation, or normal anatomical variations.

Patients can suffer temporary or permanent damage if a nerve is irritated or injured. For example, during skull-based surgery, the facial nerve is commonly exposed and at risk for injury. Since this nerve controls all movements and expressions of the face, damaging this nerve can have devastating physical and emotional results.

Sometimes minor irritation or stretching of the facial nerve can lead to temporary or permanent symptoms of nerve damage, such as facial weakness, numbness, or twitching. Severing the facial nerve, although rare, causes facial paralysis that resembles the effects of a stroke.

Similarly, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, a branch of the vagus nerve, is one of the nerves at risk during neck dissections, including thyroid surgery. Damaging this nerve can severely affect an individual’s ability to speak, swallow, and aspirate.

Medtronic’s NIM® Nerve Monitoring Systems help surgeons locate and identify the nerve, monitor and control manipulation effects on the nerve, and confirm nerve integrity prior to completing the surgery.

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Dallas Ear Institute
7777 Forest Lane, Suite A-103, Dallas, TX 75230 | Phone: (972) 566-7600 | Fax: (972) 566-6560 | www.dallasear.com