Pre-Operative Wada Testing

Officially known as the intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedure (ISAP), this test often goes by the nickname Wada, after the physician who first performed it, Dr. Juan Wada. It is done before certain types of brain surgery to determine which side of the brain controls language function and which side has better memory function. Results help the neurosurgeon facilitate operative planning and improve the surgical result.


During the procedure, Neurointerventional Surgeon the injects a short-acting anesthetic into your right or left carotid artery, putting one side of your brain to sleep for a few minutes. When EEG (brain wave) recordings confirm that your brain is asleep, a neurological exam is performed. Different objects and pictures are shown. When the anesthetic wears off, you will be asked what you saw. The same procedure is repeated on the other side.