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Stereotactic Biopsy

When your doctor says you need a stereotactic biopsy, you might have a lot of questions. Such as:


What Is a Stereotactic Biopsy?

A stereotactic biopsy is an innovative technique used most often to obtain a sample of a mass to see if it is cancerous. With this tissue sample, a pathologist can identify the grade and type of tumor found.

This operation is used in brain cancers to help facilitate a clear understanding of the tumor in the most minimally invasive way. A stereotactic brain biopsy is often done using local anesthesia. In cases of young children, general anesthesia might be administered in order to prevent movement during the operation. Using advanced imaging with an MRI and targeting stickers, a three-dimensional map of the brain is created. This gives our fellowship-trained, Long Island neurosurgeons a clear guide to the mass being investigated.

A small hole will be drilled into the skull in order for a needle to access the brain and remove sample tissue. The core needle has a channel in the middle that can gather a small amount of suspicious tissue, with minimal side effects. You can expect an overnight stay in the hospital after the surgery, for close monitoring.

What Conditions Might Require a Stereotactic Biopsy?

Stereotactic needle biopsies are used in multiple cases for tumor identification. When tumors can’t be confirmed or identified using other techniques, a biopsy might be the best option. Tumors located in the breast, lungs, liver and brain are the most likely to have a biopsy required.

With brain abnormalities, biopsies are used when there is suspicion of tumors, inflammation, or neurodegenerative disease —some lesions are benign and only require monitoring, while others can be more serious and need further investigation such as a biopsy.

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