Navigation-guided endoscopic biopsy

If a brain scan shows an unidentified mass or leasion (this can be a tumor), it usually needs a biopsy. During a biopsy the surgeon makes a small hole in the skull and guides a small needle into the tissue to take a sample. The sample is then examined to determine what kind of tumor it is and to determine the treatment options.

There are a couple of different biopsies: a stereotactic needle biopsy, a navigation-guided biopsy and an open biopsy. A navigation-guided biopsy is also called 'frameless', because different to a stereotactic biopsy, there's no use of a frame. 

When performing a navigation-guided biopsy, first an MRI-scan is made to determine the location of the unknown tissue. The scan is then uploaded to the navigation program and the software calculates during the surgery the exact location for the needle. For more information about stereotactic needle biopsy, please check the link at the bottom of this page.

The procedure

During a navigation-guided biopsy the neurosurgeon makes a small incision in the skin and drills a small hole in the skull, with the person undergoing the procedure being under general anaesthesia. Then, using the image guidance system, the biopsy needle is passed into the brain and into the abnormal lesion or tumor. Several small pieces of tissue are obtained. Once the procedure is completed, the needle is withdrawn and the skin is closed.

The results

The tissue is sent to a pathologist and examined. The results can be expected within 10 working days. Depending on the results the treatment options can be discussed. 

Within UNCH Haaglanden Medical Centre is specialised in navigation-guided biopsies. 

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