Brain Tumor In Human Body

Brain Tumors

“It is curable!!” yes most of the brain tumors can now be safely and successfully treated with modern day surgical techniques. Find out more about our dept. of brain tumor…….

Stereotactic Procedure

Stereotactic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. It makes use of a three-dimensional coordinate system to accurately locate small targets within the brain and subsequent procedures such as  stimulation,  lesioning, implantation ), ablation etc. can be performed.

Theoritically any organ inside the body can be subjected to stereotactic surgery. Difficulties in putting up a reliable frame of reference (such as bony landmarks which has a constant spatial relation to soft tissues) however, mean that its applications have been limited to brain surgery.

Steriotactic Biopsy -surgical-procedures
Surgical Procedures

History of Stereotactic Surgery in India

Functional and stereotactic surgeries were first introduced in 1940’s and 50’s, but did not make progress as expected due to high mortality and morbidity rates. Neurosurgery developed in India after the II world war. In 1940 pioneers like Chintan Nambiar performed 74 cases of chemopallidotomy using free hand stereotactic technique. In 1949 Jacob Chandy and Baldev Singh established the first neurosurgical center at Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore in Tamilnadu. In 1950’s V. Balasubramaniam and B. Ramamurthi performed pallidal lesioning with inflatable balloon and alcohol. H M Dastur started stereotactic surgery at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital Mumbai in 1959. Initially he used Oliver’s guide and later used Narabayashi frame along with Dr. Gajendra Sinh (Jaslok hospital, Mumbai) to perform stereotactic surgery. Dr S N Bhagwati (Mumbai) used Mckinneys apparatus and Leksell’s frame in 1964. In 1970, S. Kalyanaraman (Madras Medical College) performed stereotactic surgeries using a combination of Leksell and Sehgal stereotactic equipment to perform simultaneous targeting of intracranial structures. R M Verma who was trained in Bristol started neurosurgical units in AIIMS and was instrumental in establishing National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

The Indian Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery were formed in 1997 with V. Balasubramaniam, as its first President. Stereotactic Radiosurgery was first introduced in India at the Apollo Hospital, Chennai using Linac X-knife system. Gamma knife was introduced at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai in 1997.  In Mumbai Dr. Paresh Doshi (Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai) performed surgery for Parkinson’s disease. Initially he started with GPi lesioning and later switched to STN-DBS surgery. In 2009 he was instrumental in performing neural transplant surgery using Mesenchymal Stem cell therapy in collaboration with Reliance Life sciences for Parkinson’s disease. The results of which are awaited.

About Stereotactic Brain Biopsy

A Stereotactic Brain Tumor Biopsy is a neurosurgical procedure in which samples of tissue are taken from the tumor site. The biopsy will provide information about  the type of tumor. The purpose of a biopsy is to discover the type and grade of a tumor as well as its molecular biology and its growth pattern. With the help of MRI and CT scans and 3D computer workstations, it is possible to accurately target any area of the brain. A stereotactic biopsy surgery is the most accurate method of obtaining a diagnosis. Once a sample is obtained, a pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope and writes a pathology report containing an analysis of the brain tissue.

Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery


This procedure is used by neurosurgeons to obtain tissue samples of areas within the brain from where the sample needs to be taken. The main indications for stereotactic biopsy are lesions that are located deep within the brain, multiple lesions, lesions in candidates who cannot tolerate general anesthesia. We perform stereotactic biopsies under local anaesthesia, with or without intravenous sedation. Most of the biopsies are performed with CT localization, however, in cases where the lesion can only be seen on MRI we have facilities to do MRI guided biopsies. The procedure takes about 3 hours. To begin with a stereotactic frame is attached to the patient’s head using local anaesthesia at the pin insertion site.

MRI for Stereotactic Procedures
MRI for Stereotactic Procedures

In the operating room, the patient’s head is rested on a clamp system in a comfortable position. An incision of only a few millimeters is made in the scalp and a small hole is drilled into the skull. A thin biopsy needle is inserted into the brain using the coordinates obtained on the computer workstation. This is less invasive and much more precise than an open biopsy that requires a craniotomy which involves removing a piece of the skull in order to get access to the brain.  The specimen is then sent to the pathologist for evaluation who will opine if the tissue is representative of the lesion and adequate for him to give final diagnosis. Patients are monitored for several hours following the procedure and usually go home within 1-2 days.

Risks –

The risks associated with stereotactic brain biopsy are minimal. The complication rate of a stereotactic brain tumor biopsy is 2.3%, predominately caused by hemorrhage (0.7%), and edema or infection (< 2%). The diagnostic accuracy is 97%. Sometimes the sample of tissue obtained may be non-diagnostic, in which case repeat biopsy is advised.