Surgery for Brain Metastases

Surgery for Brain Metastases

Neurosurgeon Cameron Brennan prepares in the operating room.

Neurosurgeon Cameron Brennan is part of a world-renowned team of brain surgeons at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Brain surgery today is safer and more effective than ever for treating cancer. There have been many improvements in both imaging and in how we plan and perform surgeries. Our surgeons are experts in removing brain tumors without harming healthy tissue. This procedure can release pressure in your skull caused by a tumor.

For some tumors, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the exact location of the tumor before surgery. Sometimes surgeons perform the operation while you’re awake as they safely remove the tumor. 

Surgical Navigation  

Surgical navigation, also called frameless stereotaxy, helps us plan your operation. It is a guide used during surgery, like a GPS system for the brain. 

Your neurosurgeon uses MRI images to show the exact location of the instruments they are using during surgery. In the operating room, they will see an image from the MRI projected on a screen. This gives them real-time information about the position of your tumor. 

MRI During Surgery 

MRI during surgery is a powerful tool. It lets your neurosurgeon clearly see, evaluate, and operate on the tumor with great accuracy. MRI technology also helps the surgical team tell whether they removed all the tumor tissue. If they still see tumor tissue, your neurosurgeon may continue the surgery to remove it. 


Neuroendoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery, which means it is done with small incisions (cuts). Whether we use this procedure depends on the tumor’s location. We also use neuroendoscopy to get brain tissue for a biopsy. 

Telemedicine Appointments 

We know that rest is an important part of the healing process. Travel to and from appointments can take a lot of time and energy. For some neurosurgery visits, you may be able to see your MSK care team through our telemedicine program. If telemedicine is right for you, a member of your care team will let you know. 

Brain Tumor Remote Second Opinions from Neurosurgeons at MSK
Learn how to get a remote second opinion about your brain cancer or benign tumor diagnosis from MSK neurosurgeons.

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