Novel laser device used for brain surgery

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Monteris Medical announced that their novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided laser technology, the NeuroBlate system, was recently applied by neurosurgeons at UC San Diego Health System to a malignant tumour deep inside a patient’s brain. This is the first time that this FDA-cleared laser ablation device has been used in California, USA.

“The patient’s brain tumour was located in the thalamus. Normally, to access a tumour in this region, the surgeon would have to remove considerable healthy brain tissue, thus subjecting the patient to significant neurologic injury,” says neurosurgeon Clark C Chen, vice chairman of research, UC San Diego Division of Neurosurgery, USA. “Our goal with this type of MRI-guided laser technology is to preserve healthy brain tissues while accessing tumours that would otherwise be inoperable.”

Chen and his team used a technique called laser interstitial thermal therapy. The procedure is performed inside an MRI machine while the patient is under general anaesthesia. A dime-size hole was created in the patient’s skull to access the tumour. The NeuroBlate laser probe was inserted into the tumour under real-time MRI monitoring and computer guidance. When the tumour was reached, the laser beam was activated to heat tumour cells to a lethal temperature.

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