Minimally Invasive Six Pillars Approach for Tumor Resection

The Six Pillar Approach allows ACSN doctors to resect tumors located in the deep subcortical regions of the brain through an opening as small as a dime, providing a surgical option for many tumors that were once considered inoperable.

About this Surgery

Used to treat: Tumors

The Six Pillar Approach allows doctors to resect tumors located in the deep subcortical regions of the brain through an opening as small as a fingertip.

The Six Pillar Approach utilizes six key components:

  •     Brain mapping
  •     GPS navigation technology
  •     Sophisticated optics
  •     BrainPath®
  •     Resection
  •     Targeted approach

With this approach, the surgeon will access the brain through a small opening, approximately the size of a dime, and will then use brain mapping, GPS navigation technology and the BrainPath® tool to locate the tumor.  The BrainPath® tool allows the surgeon to maintain visualization of and access to the tumor throughout the procedure.  A small, pencil sized tool is then used to resect the mass.  The resected tissue is preserved for pathological evaluation and research.

The Six Pillar Approach is beneficial to patients because it reduces the risks associated with accessing subcortical brain tumors. Historically, accessing these types of tumors had significant risk of memory loss or speech deterioration.

This procedure significantly reduces these risks by using computer guided navigation and allowing the surgeon to displace tissue, rather than cut it, as he or she gains access to the tumor site. This helps to lower the risk of damage to healthy brain tissue and to lower the risk of complications from surgery. For most patients, this can mean significantly improved quality of life.

Achieving greater tumor resection can also extend life expectancy for some patients. It can help minimize some of the serious side effects of brain tumors, such as loss of speech, sight and mobility, and improve quality of life.

Since the surgery is minimally invasive, patients are generally able to leave the hospital within one to two days following surgery, and can resume limited activities shortly after.

Currently, this approach is being used to treat patients with malignant primary brain tumors known as glioblastomas, as well as patients with metastatic cancer that has traveled to the brain from other parts of the body. 

ACSN's Dr. Juan Alzate is one of the first in the nation to pioneer this approach. 

Please keep in mind that all treatments and outcomes are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results and other important medical information.