Allegheny General Hospital Performs First MRI-Guided Laser Ablation of Brain Tumors

Share Article

Surgeons in the Neuroscience Institute at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), part of Allegheny Health Network, are now using laser energy and MRI visualization to remove brain tumors that previously were difficult to access via other minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

Khaled Aziz, MD

The Visualase® technology represents a promising new option for some patients with persistent, life-threatening tumor recurrences, providing them with a much gentler, less invasive procedure that leads to much quicker recovery.

Surgeons in the Neuroscience Institute at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), part of Allegheny Health Network, are now using laser energy and MRI visualization to remove brain tumors that previously were difficult to access via other minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

The Visualase® MRI-guided laser ablation system, developed by Medtronic Medical Technologies, accurately maps tumor location and enables precise ablation of diseased tissue, while preserving healthy adjacent areas of the brain.

AGH recently performed its first case using the Visualase® system on a 65-year-old woman from Canonsburg, PA. The procedure, which is designed for treating recurrent tumors, was especially beneficial for this patient, who had already undergone four craniotomies, a highly-invasive procedure that requires removal of a portion of the skull to access the brain.

“The Visualase® technology represents a promising new option for some patients with persistent, life-threatening tumor recurrences, providing them with a much gentler, less invasive procedure that leads to much quicker recovery than that experienced by those patients who undergo open craniotomy,” said Khaled Aziz, MD, Director of AHN’s Center for Complex Intracranial Surgery, and the neurosurgeon who performed the first case at AGH.

Surgery with the MRI-guided laser can generally be completed more quickly than open brain surgery and most patients have a shorter hospital stay afterward, Dr. Aziz said. Minimally invasive laser ablation also requires little to no hair removal and a much smaller incision that can be closed with a 1-stitch suture. The smaller incision also translates into less scarring with the Visualase® therapy than in traditional open surgery.

“Allegheny General Hospital and Allegheny Health Network continually evaluate new technologies and strive to equip our physicians with state-of-the-art tools and capabilities to ensure the best possible results for patients,” said Donald Whiting, MD, Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Institute, Allegheny Health Network.

The Visualase® laser ablation system is FDA approved and more than 1,000 cases have been performed to date in the United States.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network is a western Pennsylvania-based integrated healthcare system that serves patients from across a five-state region that includes Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The Network’s Neurosciences Institute integrates renowned experts in the subspecialties of neurology, neurotology, neuroradiology, neuro-critical care, and neurosurgery to offer leading-edge care for patients with the most complex neurological disorders. Recognized as both a Neurosciences Center of Excellence and a Spine Center of Excellence, the program serves as a national and international referral center for treatment of all types of neurological conditions.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jennifer Davis
Allegheny Health Network
+1 (412) 478-0899
Email >
Visit website