MRI-Guided Laser Ablation Technology for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

Treating brain lesions can be difficult. The blood-brain barrier, which normally serves to protect the brain and spinal cord from damaging chemicals getting into those structures, also keeps out many types of drugs. Surgery can be difficult and risky due to proximity to critical structures, and radiation therapy can damage healthy tissue. Visualase is a new technology that might be of great benefit to some patients. Visualase is a laser technology that utilizes light energy to destroy soft tissue including tumor or damaged tissue. Laser energy is delivered to the target area (the lesion) using a laser probe. As light is delivered through the laser probe temperatures in the target area begin to rise, destroying the unwanted tissue.

Because Visualase procedures are guided by MRI images, the procedure can provide precise targeting. The procedure is minimally invasive and has been reported in medical journals to be pain free and require a short recovery time.

Visualase Laser Ablation Technology

  • Can be performed with patient wide awake
  • Requires no radiation and no skull flap, the large skull opening in traditional craniotomies
  • May cause little or no pain during or after procedure
  • Is minimally invasive, access smaller than typically created during a biopsy.
  • Usually requires only a one day hospital stay
  • Does not limit use of additional or other treatment options
  • Is often performed on otherwise inoperable tumors/lesions

If you want to know if you or someone you know might be eligible for the Visualase Technology, please use our patient form.

A Typical Visualase Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

Laser brain tissue ablation A small flexible laser probe
is guided to the intended
target area.
brain ablation MRI The patient is transported to an MRI unit. The MRI allows a physician to precisely monitor treatment using special software to measure temperatures.
Ablation live monitoring

Laser light heats and destroys target area or tumor tissue. Temperature maps show the physician the extent of the tissue being destroyed, minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

The laser applicator is removed and the small incision is closed with one stitch and or a bandage.


Is Visualase Right For You?

Visualase Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

Visualase utilizes laser-induced interstitial thermal therapy (LITT). For more information visit our technology section.


LITT, or Laser-Induced Interstitial Thermotherapy, is a new treatment option for many types of both benign and malignant tumors, including primary gliomas and other brain masses. LITT – also referred to as laser interstitial thermal therapy, laser-induced thermotherapy, interstitial laser therapy, laser ablation or laser thermal ablation – is a surgical procedure in which destruction of soft tissues in the body is effected through high temperatures generated by the local absorption of laser energy.