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Stereotactic Biopsy

Brain tumors don’t always need to be removed surgically. A lot of times we can kill them with radiation alone. But before we can zap them, we need to know what type of tumor we are dealing with. Sometimes there are clues based upon the patient’s history and the MRI, but other times the only way to know for sure is to get a piece of tissue from the tumor.

Traditionally, this required an “open biopsy” where under general anesthesia a large window was made in the skull and the tumor was biopsied. And this worked well and is still required in certain cases, but for the most situations now we can do a stereotactic biopsy under local anesthesia and get the same information. This entails giving the patient some mild sedation, placing a guidance frame on the head, and with the help of a special imaging guiding a small biopsy needle to get a piece of the tissue.

The benefits of this technique are a more precise biopsy, no skin incision, just a [needle site] and discharge home the next day. Because there is no incision, radiation can be delivered immediately rather than waiting for healing of the incision.

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LastUpdate: 2016-05-11 09:56:45

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