An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) guided brain tumor surgery is an ultra-modern method of performing critical neurological surgeries using advanced surgical technologies. This is a minimally invasive neurosurgical procedure that uses the images produce by the MRI to guide the high-intensity laser probe in order to target the brain tumor and destroy the cancerous cells with heat.
MRI-Guided Brain Tumor Surgery Procedure
An MRI-guided brain tumor surgery is the latest in the list of modern forms of surgeries. This advanced neurosurgery technique utilizes MRI images to guide the laser to help target the brain tumor precisely and with more accuracy.
A conventional neurosurgery for removal of brain tumor can last for several hours and is very risky even with advancement in surgical technologies. This method is a minimally invasive surgical method to remove brain tumors without the need to perform a craniotomy, which involves removing a portion the skull to access and brain in order to remove the brain tumor surgically.
The neurosurgeon will only make a very small burr hole (around 0.5 cms) in the skull near the location of the brain tumor. The neurosurgeon uses real-time MRI images to guide the laser probe through the brain to the tumor. Once the laser probe is inside the tumor the neurosurgeon will activate the laser to focus thermal energy on the tumor precisely. The heat generated by the laser probe kills the cancerous cells. The MRI guided system is useful as it allows for precision targeting of the laser probe which prevents damage to the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
What Types of Brain Tumors are Treated Using This Method?
The MRI-guided brain tumor surgery method can be used to successfully treat various type of brain tumors, such as:
- Glial tumors
- Anaplastic astrocytomas
- Metastatic cancers from other parts of the body
- Certain radiation-resistant brain tumors
- Radiation necrosis caused by previous radiation therapy
This advanced neurosurgical method is used to remove tumors located in hard-to-reach places in the body such as the brain.
Who is Eligible for an MRI Guided Brain Tumor Surgery?
A person diagnosed with brain tumor that is located in a cranny of the brain is usually considered for the MRI-guided brain tumor surgery if other tumor removal methods have failed to successfully treat the tumor.
The neurology specialist/surgeon will take into consideration certain factors such as your age, overall health status and medical history to approve of the use of this method. The surgeon will give the ‘go-ahead’ for this type of brain tumor removal surgery once they determine that you are of otherwise sound health and are fit to undergo a major neurosurgery such as a brain tumor removal procedure.
You are considered NOT fit to undergo an MRI-guided brain tumor surgery if:
- You are unable to get an MRI due to a pacemaker or other metal implant
- The brain tumor is located in a critical region of the brain and if disturbed could cause other related neurological complications.
What are the Advantages of an MRI Guided Brain Tumor Surgery?
An MRI-guided brain tumor surgery is highly advantageous as compared to other brain tumor removal methods due to various reasons such as:
- Minimally invasive nature of this surgery ensures no sutures and no scarring after surgery
- Laser probe used to destroy the cancerous (tumor) cells is precise in targeting only the tumor cells and leaves the surrounding healthy brain tissue completely undamaged
- MRI-guidance is very useful in manipulating the laser probe through the intricate and delicate brain matter to the tumor
Minimally invasive method means that there is less pain, faster recovery and decreased hospital stay
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