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Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy Offers Advanced Solution for Multiple Brain Pathologies

May 17, 2023
“Hermes
Hermes Garcia, MD

Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute has introduced laser interstitial thermal therapy (LiTT) as a treatment option for patients suffering multiple brain pathologies, including primary and recurrent gliomas, brain metastases, radiation necrosis and drug-resistant epilepsy.

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy 1
Left: Electrode catheter that is inserted into the target lesion.
Right: Intraoperative view of placement of the catheter using robotic arm for assistance

“This advanced thermal ablation procedure expands the care pathways of our complex neurosurgery program with more advanced options for comprehensive brain tumor and epilepsy care,” says Hermes G. Garcia, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon with Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute. A diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Garcia specializes in treating skull-base tumors and presents at national meetings of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and North American Skull Base Society.

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy 2
View after catheter is placed and secured to the skull.The patient is then taken to MRI for the ablation.

A minimally invasive alternative to craniotomy, LiTT requires a small scalp incision and tiny opening in the skull. Surgeons insert an electrode catheter into the location of interest using the MRI to confirm, then proceed with the controlled ablation. The technology provides surgeons with the precision to target and destroy brain tumors and lesions without injury to adjacent healthy tissue.

“LiTT lessens the physiological impact of a traditional open procedure,” says Dr. Garcia. “The incisions are small and often behind the hairline. There is a quicker recovery with most patients requiring only one night in the hospital.”

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy 3
Software MRI images of active ablation at the tip of the electrode (yellow and magenta circles)

Prognosis is determined by pathology. “The candidacy for this treatment can be determined by the type, size and location of the tumor or the location of the epilepsy focus,” says Dr. Garcia. “LiTT provides treatment for tumors once considered inoperable. It allows us to ablate deep-seated lesions without affecting normal brain tissue like with tumor resection. For those suffering metastases, we can shorten the amount of time their chemotherapy is held, impacting the systemic disease.”

Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute is a recognized leader in treating neurological disorders and offers advanced treatments and technology in 10 locations across Central Florida. Its highly subspecialized surgeons are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nervous system and brain, annually performing more than 2,000 neurosurgeries and conducting multiple clinical trials.

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