Stereotactic neurosurgery uses a 3D coordinate system to map the brain, pinpointing the precise target area. The target is identified through CT, MRI or angiography, and three-dimensional mapping equipment then determines the precise distance and preferred route to the treatment area.
Understanding stereotactic neurosurgery
Stereotactic neurosurgery may be performed with or without the use of a frame. Frame-based stereotactic neurosurgery requires a lightweight frame be attached to the head using four small posts. To ensure patient comfort, local anesthesia is administered at the insertion sites.
Once the frame is in position, imaging begins. Using reference points on the frame, the distance between the target site and the frame is measured in three dimensions. Surgical equipment is then attached to the frame and adjusted precisely to the exact mapping coordinates.
In frameless stereotactic neurosurgery, markers are placed on the scalp to act as a reference point during image-guided procedures.
Why is stereotactic neurosurgery done?
Stereotactic neurosurgery may be performed for diagnostic purposes. Small samples of brain tissue may be obtained through the procedure when brain tumor or infection is suspected. It may also be done when multiple lesions are present, tumors are located deep in the brain, or the patient is unable to tolerate anesthesia for a convention surgical procedure.
This surgery may also be used to treat various focal diseases of the brain including congenital disorders, vascular abnormalities, Parkinson’s disease and more.
Risks associated with stereotactic neurosurgery
The risks of stereotactic neurosurgery are less than those associated with an open surgical procedure, but include:
- Intracranial hemorrhage