Laser Thermocoagulation: A New Tool for Epilepsy and Brain Tumor Surgery

Director of the Penn Center for Laser Neurosurgery Timothy Lucas, MD, PhD, discusses laser therapy for the treatment of radionecrosis of the brain, metastases, glioma and epilepsy, and examines the current controversies identified with the modality. Used for a variety of interventions (e.g., ablation, thermocoagulation, interstitial thermotherapy) in thousands of patients to date, laser therapy has yet to fully prove its benefit, Dr. Lucas observes, because published reports lack randomization, controls and appropriate study populations. An advocate, Dr. Lucas suggests a resolution for these issues and notes the known intraoperative benefits of laser therapy, which include reduced complications, fewer neurological deficits, and useful adjunctive applications.

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