What is computer-assisted stereotactic neurosurgery?
Computer-assisted neurosurgery is based on the use of computers to perform minimally invasive neurosurgery. Stereotactic (from Greek: Stereo-three dimensions; tactic-to probe) is a term to describe a procedure done in precise and defined three dimensional space using a computer system. At Mount Sinai, we pioneer a computer system based on light emitting diodes that allow us to have a real-time representation of the surgical instruments used during surgery over the patient's own radiographic studies.
What is the purpose of computer-assisted stereotactic techniques?
Most intracranial lesions are not obvious upon opening the skull and its membranes. A surgeon may have difficulty in knowing where the lesion ends and normal brain begins, in spite of the fact that this information is usually clear on the imaging studies. Indeed, there may even be difficulty in finding some lesions that are not abutting the surface. Searching for the lesion or removing normal brain tissue may result in unnecessary complications. The use of a computer-assisted neurosurgery techniques helps making the tumor removal more aggressive and yet more precise. This results in decreased complications and length of hospital stay.
What are the advantages of computer-assisted neurosurgery?
Computer-assisted craniotomy provides the following major advantages to the surgeon in the management of intra-axial brain lesions:
- It allows to perform small skin and bone opening.
- It allows to find the lesion promptly.
- It allows to remove the tumor respecting the normal brain and vascular anatomy.
- It allows the surgeon to plan and simulate the surgery beforehand
- The surgeon is guided by the computer and thus knows exactly where tumor ends and normal brain begins, this allows a more complete tumor removal with much less risk to surrounding brain tissue.
- " Inoperable "" tumors (inoperable by conventional surgical techniques) can be resected with computer assisted procedures. Frequently, these are deep seated-relatively benign tumors in children and young adults or elderly patients. Many of these tumors can be cured with computer-assisted craniotomy.
- Neurologic results are better, less patients require rehabilitation programs and return to work sooner.
Who is a candidate for computer-assisted stereotactic neurosurgery?
Anybody who need brain surgery and wants a precise and minimally invasive operation. This includes brain tumors, vascular malformations, infections, and numerous other pathologies.
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