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Visualaseā„¢ | Neurosurgical Laser Ablation

MRI-guided laser ablation using the Visualaseā„¢ system

What is it?

At The Harley Street Clinic, we are able to provide MRI-guided laser ablation to our patients using the Visualase™ system, which helps us to treat tumours that were previously thought to be inoperable. Ablation refers to the destruction of soft tissue and can be used to treat the most common brain tumours known as gliomas; including astrocytomas and glioblastomas, as well as epilepsy also. By using the Visualase™ system your surgeon is able to monitor the tissue ablation in real-time and benefits to the patient include minimal incision and faster recovery times.

 

Professor Ashkan and Mr Bhangoo, both consultants at London Neurosurgery Partnership, part of The Harley Street Clinic, are the only consultants in the UK who are able to provide treatment using the Visualase™ system for tumours in both adults and children.

Groundbreaking brain tumour treatment

Mr Bhangoo and Professor Ashkan, both part of London Neurosurgery Partnership at The Harley Street Clinic, discuss how the Visualase® system can be used to treat brain tumours. Visualase® is minimally invasive and so there is reduced risk of infection to the patient as well as faster recovery times. Additionally, depending on the location of the tumour, it is often possible to perform the operation without shaving the patient's head.

 

This pioneering technique has also proved very successful as a treatment for epilepsy. The same laser-guided process is used to ablate (remove with heat energy) brain tissue mutations which cause epileptic seizures, providing epileptic patients with a far more immediate, alternative treatment option to traditional medication and surgery. 

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep throughout. You will lie inside an MRI machine during the operation so that your consultant can monitor the tumour destruction in real time.

    A thin laser probe will first be inserted through a small hole into your brain. The tip of this probe emits laser energy to destroy the tumour while leaving surrounding healthy tissue undamaged. Your consultant will assess the destruction of the tumour tissue via the high res images delivered from the MRI and they can control the procedure by redirecting the laser energy as necessary.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will let you know exactly how to prepare depending on the treatment you’re having. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.

    As the procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic your consultant will let you know how long you should avoid eating or drinking beforehand.

    A 3D scan of the area to be operated on will first be performed to allow your neurosurgeon to plan your surgical plan. This plan is programmed into the Visualase™ system meaning that optimal positioning of the ablation is achieved.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    You will remain in hospital for a few days after your surgery. Your consultant or nurse will let you know when you can leave the hospital and if you should arrange for someone to take you home.

Our consultants

Professor Ashkan

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

Consultant Neurosurgeon

Mr Bhangoo

Mr Ranjeev Bhangoo

Consultant Neurosurgeon

Our locations

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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