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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:

  • Your surgeon will tell you how to prepare for surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home after your surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your allergies. Include any allergic reaction to antibiotics, contrast liquid, medicine, or anesthesia.
  • You may need to have a CT or MRI scan. You may also need other tests, such as chest x-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you steroids and other medicines to use. These medicines help prevent seizures or stomach ulcers.

The night before your surgery:

  • You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • 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.

The day of your surgery:

  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • 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:

  • Your head will be placed on a frame that is connected to a computer. The frame will be attached to your head with pins or screws. Scanned images of your brain will show pictures on a monitor. This will help your surgeon see the different brain areas to target and biopsy your glioma accurately.
  • Your surgeon will insert a needle into your scalp and skull through a small opening. The needle passes through your brain until it reaches the tumor. A sample will be taken and sent to a lab for tests. A bandage will be placed over the incision.

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 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 your surgeon to do open brain surgery. Even after surgery, there is a chance that another biopsy may have to be done.

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.