what is Intraoperative Monitoring?

Intraoperative Monitoring (IOM) – also called intraoperative neuromonitoring or intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring – is a way to monitor the integrity of your nerves during surgery. The term “intraoperative” translates to “within (intra) the operating room (operative).” The term neurophysiological refers to the nervous system.

Intraoperative monitoring uses innovative monitoring techniques to observe and record potential compromises to your nerve endings during surgery. Intraoperative monitoring allows technologists and surgeons to quickly identify early warning signs of changes to the function of your nerves during surgery, thereby enabling them to adapt or modify the procedure to minimize or avoid potential postoperative difficulties.

Surgeries that utilize Definitive NeuroDiagnostic intraoperative monitoring are observed by a certified physician throughout the duration of your procedure. A remote physician oversees the waveforms created in real-time by your nerves during surgery. This information is shared over the secure and protected connection between locations.

Watch this short video about Intraoperative Monitoring of the Nerves.

Why You Need Intraoperative Monitoring


the evidence

Studies have shown that IOM has helped prevent many post-surgical neurological deficits.


Standard of care

Major medical centers, hospitals, and surgery centers across the nation have made IOM the standard of care to ensure that patients are fully protected during surgery.


patient care

By requesting IOM for your procedure, your surgeon has taken additional precautions to help prevent post-operative neurological damage and provide you with the highest level of care.

What to expect on surgery day

Prior to the day of surgery, your surgeon will contact Definitive NeuroDiagnostics to request our services. This information is sent to us in a secure way, and only medical information relevant to the procedure is included. Once received, we handle the information in a safe manner and in compliance with privacy laws. We use this information to prepare for the surgery to provide the best services possible.

On the day of surgery, your IOM technologist will stop by to introduce themselves and to answer any questions you may have. You may also contact us before your surgery at 309-454-1100 to discuss any questions you may have regarding intraoperative monitoring.

Patient Consent:

To receive intraoperative monitoring in your surgery, we must obtain your signed consent. This will occur while the technologist visits you prior to surgery. In addition, this greeting will inform you of what IOM will entail for your specific operation, and you will be able to ask any questions you have about IOM. This task will be completed before surgery and before any anesthetics are administered.

Equipment Setup:

After you’ve signed consent, the technologist will set up the computer and accompanying equipment in the operating room where your surgery will be performed. We will connect to the remote physician, and communications between the technologists and remote physicians will pertain only to you and your surgery.

Operating Room:

Once anesthesia is administered, the neuromonitoring technologist will place sterile electrodes over specific muscle groups in the body. The number and location of these electrodes will depend on the surgery. Location and number of electrodes also corresponds to the nerves at risk for the operation. Some procedures involve the placement of a tube to monitor the nerve endings near your vocal cords. All electrodes and/or tubes will be removed before you awaken from anesthesia.

Surgery Begins:

By the time surgery begins, the technologist will have recorded some of your waveforms to ensure that electrodes are properly functioning and in the correct place. These initial waveforms are considered baselines, which will help the technologist determine if there are any changes during the procedure so they can alert the surgeon.

Surgery Ends:

At the end of surgery, the intraoperative monitoring technologist and remote physician will ensure that your waveforms are at baseline levels. This is reported to the surgeon. The technologist will then remove the electrodes from your body before you wake up from surgery.


Do you have questions about intraoperative monitoring?