Stereotactic Intra-Cranial Surgery for Biopsy of Tumours and Infections

Stereostatic brain surgery for a brain tumour biopsy of a lesion on the brain is a significant procedure used to accurately diagnose a brain lesion. The stereostatic equipment helps to localise the site of a lesion by mapping the brain in a three dimensional manner. This brain mapping method allows the biopsy needle to be accurately guided towards to lesion. This procedure is able to provide more detailed and accurate information regarding a lesion than the results gained from a MRI or CT scan. This is due the fact that a stereostatic brain biopsy procedure is able to obtain actually tissue samples from the lesion and subsequently tests can conclude the nature of the tumour. Once this has been established a decision regarding brain tumour treatment can be made.

The patient is placed under general anaesthetic so that they are asleep for the duration of the surgery. The head is secured in a stable position and fiducials are placed on the scalp and registered with the computer navigation system. The scalp is prepared by shaving appropriate areas which are then sterilised. A small incision is made in the skin followed by a burr hole in the skull. The covering of the brain, known as the dura, is cut open so that the stereostatic needle can be inserted. This needle is a long instrument with a soft, blunt tip. It is inserted into the brain and follows the neuronavigation system to find the lesion where a brain biopsy is taken. The wound is then sutured closed and dressed. The biopsies are sent to pathology for analysis. The patient should be able to return home after a one night hospital stay.

Balloon kyphoplasty

Patients that sustains an osteoporotic fracture of the thoracic of lumbar vertebra can be treated by injecting cement into the vertebra. This is a procedure that from experience offers fantastic results with minimal risks in the eldery age group. Previously these patients had to stay in bed for months until the fracture healed. With a balloon kyphoplasty patients are mobile from the following day.

The procedure is done under a GA. A needle is passed under x ray guidance into the vertebra. A balloon is inflated in the vertebra which reduces the collapsed vertebra. The balloon is removed and the void is filled with cement.


Dr MJD Jacobsohn qualified in 2007 at the University of Cape Town. He then completed an AO spinal fellowship at the Spinal Unit of Groote Schuur Hospital. He started full time private practice at Mediclinic Vergelegen in 2009 when he joined the established practice of Dr LS Wessels as his associate. A comprehensive range of cranial and spinal neurosurgical pathology are managed by Dr Jacobsohn.


physical address Block 2, Room 9, Mediclinic Vergelegen, Main Road, Somerset West, 7130

telephone number Tel: +27 (0)21 840 7002