A stereotactic brain surgery is a surgical procedure where lesion, frequently a brain tumour, is removed with assistance of image guidance, that is previously obtained images (usually an MRI) are used to guide the surgeon to the exact location of the lesion to facilitate as accurate a pathway through the brain and safe removal of as much abnormal tissue as possible while leaving normal, healthy brain relatively intact.

The goal of this kind of surgery is typically to remove an abnormality seen on an MRI or CT scan. Since MRI and CT scans are very good at showing parts of the brain that are abnormal, they can assist in surgery on the brain to identify the safest way to traverse surrounding brain and remove as much abnormal tissue as possible while minimizing the disruption of surrounding normal healthy tissue.

This technique uses images of the brain to guide the surgeon to a target within the brain. The term “stereotactic” was coined from Greek and Latin roots meaning “touch in space”.

Stereotactic surgery requires only a small incision and a hole less than 1/2 inch in diameter to be made in the skull.This is usually done under local anaesthesia. Because stereotactic brain surgery is “minimally invasive” many stereotactic surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis.

The surgery itself generally requires a 2-3 day stay, but because some patients will have other problems such as seizures, weakness, or coordination problems associated with their disease, additional hospital time may be needed to address or treat those problems separate from the surgery.

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