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Onze-Lieve-Vrouwziekenhuis Aalst - OLV

Neurosurgery

Neuronavigation: The GPS of Neurosurgeons

The 3-D orientation to find a small tumour in the brain is not as easy as one could expect. To make a very small bone flaps and avoid injury to sensitive areas in the brain such as the speech or motor area, a computer guided operative technique is used. This is called 'neuronavigation' and allows the surgeon to determine exactly where the incision should be made on the skull of the patient and where the lesion can be found.

The MRI of the patient's head is stored in a computer system and the head of the sleeping patient is fixed and localised in the 3-D space. When the surgeon puts the tip of the instrument on the head of the patient he will see on the screen of the PC the exact position of this tip on the MRI images. He can localize with a milimetric precision where the tumour is before opening the skull and afterwards use the system to guide him through the brain tissue towards the lesion to remove.

The surgery can be performed with a very high precision, in a minimally invasive and safer manner.