Laser Ablation Brain Surgery

Laser ablation brain surgery is a minimally invasive, MRI-guided procedure that allows a surgeon to thermally destroy abnormal tissue with a high level of precision.

A minimally invasive alternative to traditional brain surgery, laser ablation involves the use of heat from precisely focused lasers to treat epilepsy or destroy brain tumors. This type of procedure may be well-suited for treating seizures that are not adequately controlled with anti-seizure medication. Laser ablation can also be used to destroy tumors deep within the brain, particularly when the surgical site is located near brain tissue that controls important cognitive functions.

What Does Laser Ablation Brain Surgery Involve?

At Tampa General Hospital, our skilled neurosurgeons perform laser ablation brain surgery with Visualase™, a state-of-the-art MRI-guided laser ablation system that allows a surgeon to monitor the destruction of problematic tissue via highly detailed images captured in real-time. During the procedure, the surgeon utilizes a special probe to deliver light energy directly to a targeted area of the brain. As energy flows through the probe, the temperature of the targeted tissue rises, allowing the surgeon to precisely destroy the unwanted tissue without disturbing the surrounding areas of the brain.

What Are the Benefits of Laser Ablation Brain Surgery?

As compared to conventional brain surgery, laser ablation offers several key advantages:

  • The procedure does not deliver radiation to the brain; therefore, it can be repeated as necessary without the risk of excessive radiation exposure.
  • The laser is small and precise, allowing the surgeon to safely access some inoperable brain tumors.
  • The latest form of stereotactic neurosurgery, laser ablation does not interfere with or disrupt other treatments.
  • Because laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique, the risk of pain and other complications is low.
  • The relatively small incision typically heals quickly with minimal scarring.
  • In many cases, only one night’s stay in the hospital is required.

Is Laser Ablation Brain Surgery Effective?

For many patients remaining seizure free for one year, laser ablation brain surgery appears to be a safe and effective treatment for epilepsy. Tampa General Hospital is committed to providing world-class neurological care, and our laser ablation technology was the first available in the Tampa Bay area. In 2020-2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked us among the top 10% of hospitals in the United States for Neurology & Neurosurgery.