Chapter: Fiber optics and Laser instruments : Holography and Medical Application

Brain Surgery

1. Destroying Cancer Cells with Laser-Directed Heat 2. Surgical techniques 3. Advantage

Brain Surgery


A brain tumor diagnosis is overwhelming under any condition, but it can be worse if surgery is not an option. When tumors are in hard-to-reach brain areas or are close to areas that control vital functions, traditional surgery may be too risky. Now, however, Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeons have a potentially life-extending surgical option for patients with brain tumors once considered inoperable. If you have been told that you have aninoperable primary or metastatic brain tumor


1. Destroying Cancer Cells with Laser-Directed Heat


Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) transmits heat to coagulate, or “cook,” brain tumors from the inside out. This technology is not new in cancer treatment, but early approaches posed challenges with limiting the laser energy only to tumors. Neuro Blate system, the surgeoncan “steer” and monitor the effects of the laser beam, thus sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Unlike conventional open surgery, this therapy is minimally invasive. It takes place with the patient in an MRI machine because the laser system is guided, positioned and monitored with MRI.


2. Surgical techniques


The patients will be placed under general anesthesia. With great precision, a thin, high-intensity laser probe will be inserted through a small hole in your skull, deep into your brain. Thetip of the probe emits laser energy sideways, heating and destroying brain tumor tissue in one direction while cooling to remove heat and protect normal tissue in neighboring areas.



  Each burst of laser energy lasts from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The laser generates heat up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is sufficient tocoagulate and kill the tumor cells.


  On a computer screen, the surgeon will monitor the tumor destruction as it occurs. A MRI thermometry measures temperature in and around the tumor, providing valuable feedback to the surgeon throughout the procedure. Quick recovery is possible with very few days of hospitalization.


3. Advantage


Is less invasive than even the most minimally invasive open operations Enhances patient safety


Promotes quicker recovery


Has the potential to help some patients whose tumors had been considered too risky to treat, whose tumors did not respond to alternate treatments or who had otherwise been deemed poor candidates for surgery


Offers a therapeutic option when radiosurgery fails May allow for multiple treatments


Is less costly thantraditional surgery

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