Medtronic won European CE Mark approval to introduce its Visualase MRI-guided minimally invasive laser ablation system for neurosurgical applications. The product allows for monitoring of ablation in real-time, so as to avoid injuring tissues outside the target area. Laser energy is delivered via an applicator only 1.65 mm in width that requires no more than a 3.2 mm burr hole, which means that little if any hair has to be shaved off.
Detection of ablation is done using MRI thermographic imaging. Multi-plane monitoring and superimposition of MR thermometry and thermal damage estimate maps on top of each other provides accurate targeting of exactly the tissue desired. Temperature limits can be set around the target area, with the system making sure that those are not exceeded.
The tip of the laser emits light all around itself, avoiding having to finagle the applicator to cover the whole target.
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The Visualase MRI-Guided Laser Ablation System received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in the United States in July 2007 to necrotize or coagulate soft tissue. Medtronic is currently involved in a pivotal SLATE (Stereotactic Laser Ablation for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) study in the United States to support an expanded FDA indication for the treatment of epilepsy in patients with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), the most common form of partial or localization related epilepsy.
Here’s a video describing the Visualase:
Product page: Visualase MRI-Guided Laser Ablation…