Children's Minnesota doctors use state-of-art tech to remove teen's tumor

In many ways, Peter Streit is a typical teenager.

But with everything he has been through over the last 8 months, a return to ordinary life is a welcome development.

"I don't really remember most of it. It's a bit blurry in my memory," said the 14-year-old from Minnetonka.

"It feels like a blip in a good way, in that the care we received really got us back to normal as quickly as possible," said his mother Melissa Streit.

After Peter's doctor noticed a flutter in his eye last fall, an MRI revealed a tumor a little larger than a golf ball in Peter's brain, which had wrapped around his brain stem and caused fluid to build up.

Doctors admitted him to Children's Minnesota immediately, and he had a 12-hour procedure to remove it 11 days later.

"It was almost surreal because there were no symptoms. She started showing me pictures. It was almost like an out-of-body experience," said Melissa.

Hospital officials say Peter was one of its first patients to have a procedure in a surgical suite that's a first of its kind in North America.

The three-bedroom design has a movable MRI, which allows doctors to scan a patient in the middle of surgery, without having to close them up and take them to another part of the hospital for an MRI, which could increase the risk of infection.

"That means we can get as much tumor as possible in one surgery, preventing the need for further surgeries for him and making things safer for him. I really do think that this iMRI suite is a game changer for patients who have tumors," said Dr. Amy Bruzek, Peter's neurosurgeon.

In Peter's case,  doctors were able to remove 85 percent of the tumor, which means he may have to have another surgery when he's older.

But in the meantime, he's been able to go back to school and get back to normal.

"There were a couple of months when life looked a little different, but now it's really back to where it's supposed to be," said Melissa.

Since opening the iMRI surgical suite in March of last year, doctors here at Children's Minnesota have done 59 procedures using this cutting-edge technology.