Minimally Invasive Forms of Brain Surgery

Some brain disorders that have required open brain surgery in the past may now be treated with far less-invasive procedures. Carilion's experienced neurosurgery team is highly skilled at performing less-invasive procedures including:

Endoscopes. Some surgery can now be performed with the use of endoscopes, which are thin metal tubes embedded with fiberoptics that lead to television cameras. These scopes can be passed into the brain through small holes, and the instruments needed for surgery can be passed down through thin channels to the problem areas to perform the procedure. The surgeon completes the surgery through the endoscope while watching the work on a television screen.

Stereotactic radiosurgery. Some brain disorders that are considered extremely high-risk for surgery can now be treated non-surgically with stereotactic radiosurgery. This technique uses computer technology to deliver very focused high dose radiation to small areas of the brain. Several stereotactic radiation systems exist. The newest and most exciting is the CyberKnife system, which combines state-of-the-art computer technology with robotics to deliver accurate doses of radiation, even if a patient moves during treatment. Carilion is proud to be the first hospital in Virginia to offer CyberKnife, and a team of highly skilled surgeons and radiation oncologists have gained years of experience using this amazing system.