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Closed Stereotactic Surgery For Malignant Glioma


Closed stereotactic surgery for malignant glioma is done to perform a biopsy on a tumor in the brain called a malignant glioma. A malignant glioma forms when brain cells called glial cells become cancerous. A small piece of the tumor is taken out during a biopsy and sent to a lab for tests.


The week before your surgery:

  • Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need to have a CT scan or MRI scan. You may also need other tests, such as chest x-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you steroids and other medicines to use. These medicines help prevent seizures or stomach ulcers. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these medicines.

The night before your surgery:

  • Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.
  • Healthcare providers may give you a liquid medicine called an enema to help empty your bowel before the surgery. Your healthcare provider will give you directions for how and when to use an enema.
  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your healthcare provider before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Providers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.


What will happen:

  • The hair on your head may be removed. Your head will be placed on a head frame that is connected to a computer. The rigid head frame will be attached to your head with pins or screws. Scanned images of your brain will show pictures in three-dimensional (3-D) views on a monitor. This will help healthcare providers clearly see the different brain areas. This helps healthcare providers to target and biopsy your glioma more accurately.
  • Your healthcare provider will insert a special needle into your scalp and skull through a small opening. The needle passes through your brain until it reaches the exact location of the tumor. The samples are sent to the lab for tests. A bandage is placed over the incision to control bleeding.

After your surgery:

You may be taken to a recovery room until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you will be taken back to your hospital room. The bandages used to cover your stitches keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your surgery to check your wound.


  • You cannot make it to your appointment on time.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have a sudden severe headache.
  • You have trouble seeing, breathing, speaking, or thinking clearly.
  • You passed out or had a seizure.
  • Your face is getting numb or you cannot move your arms or legs.


  • Your brain, eyes, bones, blood vessels, or nerves may get injured. You could have trouble breathing, develop an infection, or bleed more than expected after surgery. Problems may happen during the closed stereotactic surgery that may require healthcare providers to do open brain surgery. Even after surgery, there is a chance that another biopsy may have to be done.
  • Without this surgery, the extent of the malignant glioma may not be known and proper treatment may not be given. The tumor may continue to grow and push other structures near it. If this happens, the blood or nerve supply may be cut off. You may have problems seeing, moving, speaking, breathing, or thinking clearly. This may lead to other serious medical problems, such as blindness, seizures, or stroke.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.