MRI-guided Laser Ablation Surgery

Also known as: visualase.

What is MRI-guided laser ablation surgery?

MRI-guided laser ablation surgery is a non-invasive technique that’s used to treat brain tumors, epilepsy and other problems. As the name indicates, it uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide the placement of a laser fiber to precisely target and treat areas of the brain with abnormal structure or function.

What happens during the procedure?

The patient is placed under general anesthesia. Then a small hole is made in the skull, through which a laser fiber is inserted. Placement is confirmed with MRI, and the laser is pulsed under MRI visualization until the target region is fully treated.

Is any special preparation needed?

Since anesthesia is involved, a person may need to avoid food, drink or medications for a set period of time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Early experience suggests that laser treatment has comparable or lower risks than conventional (open) brain surgery.  There may be site-specific risks that your surgeon will discuss with you prior to treatment. Recovery time is faster, and children typically go home the following day.

Reviewed by: Ian O'Neil Miller, MD

This page was last updated on: June 21, 2019 01:27 AM

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