Ultrasound evaluations can often detect undiagnosed abnormalities and conditions within the body. These noninvasive diagnostic tests are designed to provide valuable data to medical personnel and are often used to measure fetal development during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. In a surgical setting, cranial ultrasound techniques can be used in conjunction with minimally invasive surgical methods to provide a higher degree of accuracy and precision in treating a variety of brain abnormalities and disorders. Modern 3D imaging techniques provide clear visibility for surgeons during all stages of treatment and surgical intervention.
How ultrasounds can detect brain abnormalities
Ultrasound scans use high-frequency sound waves that bounce back at different rates, allowing trained medical personnel and computerized equipment to identify areas that show abnormal structure or response. This method is preferred over many radiological and invasive test procedures due to its relatively low risk and ease of use. Modern ultrasound devices are exceptionally accurate and can be used to detect abnormal growth and areas of pressure inside the brain without surgery. As a result, this is a valuable first step in diagnosing tumors, aneurysms and other abnormalities in the brain and can even be used to assess skull base disorders without requiring surgical biopsy.
Ultrasound imaging in minimally invasive surgery
Methods and techniques for minimally invasive brain surgery are constantly evolving. While most surgeons currently use 2D ultrasound and MRI imaging systems to provide visual cues during surgery, new 3D instruments are being developed that show even more promise for these advanced endoscopic surgical techniques. The 3D images produced by these advanced systems allow surgeons to evaluate the brain's condition throughout the surgical procedure. Ultrasound scans can be used at every stage of treatment, including:
- During the initial diagnostic testing stage
- As part of the pre-surgical evaluation
- During the procedure as part of the endoscopic surgical tool
- Post-surgery to determine the degree of success
- At follow-up visits to evaluate the patient's recovery
Because ultrasound devices do not use powerful magnets, they can be used in cases when MRI scans are contraindicated. This versatility makes ultrasound scans a popular diagnostic choice among many skull base surgical teams.
Continuing research in the field of minimally invasive brain surgery procedures and surgical tools for those procedures ensures that patients continue to receive the most advanced diagnostic and surgical services possible. Skull base disorders and other brain abnormalities can cause serious damage and can even result in death if left untreated. Modern diagnostic tools, including advanced ultrasound devices, can ensure that patients receive the care they need at every stage of their treatment plan.