Saint Thomas West Hospital has added image-guided laser technology to its treatment protocol for patients with brain tumors and lesions that are difficult to reach by traditional open surgery. NeuroBlate® laser therapy can be precisely controlled to kill abnormal brain tissue while doing as little harm as possible to surrounding healthy brain tissue that controls essential functions like speech, vision and muscle control.
The new technology is a recent addition to the Saint Thomas UNITY System, one of only a few fully integrated neurosurgical centers of its kind in the United States dedicated to treating brain tumors and other brain disorders. The NeuroBlate System from Monteris Medical® is a robotic laser technology that uses real-time MRI to precisely guide a laser probe. The laser applies heat to the growth, in controlled amounts, until the diseased tissue is destroyed. It can be used on tumors and lesions in many locations in the brain, near the surface or deep inside. Hundreds of patients have undergone the procedure, and it has been shown to be successful in reducing or removing diseased tissue. The minimally invasive procedure, which requires a small hole in the skull about the diameter of a pencil, is done while the patient is in an MRI machine so the doctor can see the lesion and surrounding healthy tissue to apply laser energy where it is needed. The temperature of nearby healthy tissue is monitored to help ensure that it is protected as much as possible.