Laser-induced thermal therapy has become a powerful tool in the neurosurgical armamentarium. The physics of laser therapy are complex, but a sound understanding of this topic is clinically relevant, as many centers have incorporated it into their treatment algorithm, and educated patients are demanding consideration of its use for their disease. Laser ablation has been used for a wide array of intracranial lesions. Laser catheter placement is guided by stereotactic planning; however, as the procedure has popularized, the number of ways in which the catheter can be inserted has also increased. There are many technical nuances for laser placement, and, to date, there is not a clear understanding of whether any one technique is better than the other. In this review, we describe the basic physics of magnetic resonance–guided laser-induced thermal therapy and describe the several common techniques for accurate Visualase laser catheter placement in a stepwise fashion.
- Brain tumors
- Laser therapy