I am going to have my surgery monitored in real-time. I was told the person monitoring it is a CNIM. What is that and does that mean the surgery will go well?

Your surgery is most likely going to be monitored using intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM). IONM uses electrophysiological methods to monitor the integrity of the nerves, brain and spinal cord during surgery. IONM can help reduce the risk to the patient of damage to the nervous system during surgery.

IONM has slowly been gaining in popularity. There are several benefits to having IONM done during your surgery. It is relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. It has been proven to be beneficial to patients, and has few downsides.

In the U.S., there has been no licensure of individuals allowed to perform IONM during surgery. There are two certifications available privately: CNIM (certified in neurophysiological intraoperative monitoring) and D.ABNM (Diplomat of the American Board of Neurophysiological Monitoring). The CNIM certification is more widely used in the U.S., and it requires education, a certain number of surgeries and testing.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee any surgery will go well. The fact that the person monitoring your surgery appears to be educated and likely is qualified is beneficial, but no surgery guarantees a successful outcome. Overall, your surgery is likely to go better with IONM than it would without IONM. However, there are cases in which IONM is incorrectly performed, and fails to prevent damage to the patient.

If you have been injured during your surgery that was monitored using IONM, call me, Conal Doyle, IONM malpractice attorney. I have experience in the area and can help. Call my team at 310-385-0567. We can help.