Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) is a minimally-invasive treatment option for people with brain tumours, epilepsy and other neurological disorders. LITT is also called laser ablation and uses an MRI-guided laser probe to deliver heat to the lesion and destroy the harmful cells.
While it is an emerging technique used for treating epilepsy, LITT is found to be effective in treating deep-seated brain tumours that cannot be accessed or successfully treated by craniotomy.
Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) is considered a safer alternative to surgery and is associated with decreased morbidity. It may be recommended:
If your doctor recommends LITT as part of your brain tumour treatment plan, you will be informed about the procedure and its possible side effects in advance. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, during which:
After the LITT procedure, you will be asked to wait for the anaesthesia to wear off. Since the surgery was minimally-invasive, you can return to normal activities in a shorter time than you would with a craniotomy procedure.
Though lasers have been used in cancer treatments, LITT is increasingly finding its use in treating brain cancers. Some advantages of using LITT in cancer treatment are:
If you have queries regarding the benefits of LITT for your brain tumour, discuss them with your doctor. Since this is a new treatment, it may be a good idea to seek a second opinion from a specialist.
Since LITT is barely invasive, it is associated with a lower incidence of complications than surgery. However, just as with any treatment, some side effects reported in patients treated for brain tumours using LITT are: