Brain tumor surgery is one of the key factors in prolonging survival in patients with low- and high-grade gliomas. However, resections of these infiltrative lesions have historically been limited by the inability to accurately detect tumor margins. New methods in microscopy and dye injection have enabled more complete resections, but continue to lack biochemical specificity or high-resolution image acquisition. Stimulated Raman scattering microscopy represents an improvement over past techniques in the ability to differentiate intraparenchymal tissues on the basis of biochemical attributes, and is available for use in real-time, a feature that facilitates its translation to the surgical setting. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.