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This paper deals with a 3D methodology for brain tumor image-guided surgery. The methodology is based on development of a visualization process that mimics the human surgeon behavior and decision-making. In particular, it originally constructs a 3D representation of a tumor by using the segmented version of the 2D MRI images. Then it develops an optimal path for the tumor extraction based on minimizing the surgical effort and penetration area. A cost function, incorporated in this process, minimizes the damage surrounding healthy tissues taking into consideration the constraints of a new snake-like surgical tool proposed here. The tumor extraction method presented in this paper is compared with the ordinary method used on brain surgery, which is based on a straight-line based surgical tool. Illustrative examples based on real simulations present the advantages of the 3D methodology proposed here.