MRI-guided laser surgery used at Vancouver General

Dr Brian ToyotaVANCOUVER – Dr. Brian D. Toyota (pictured), head of the division of neurosurgery at the University of British Columbia, has performed Canada’s first NeuroBlate procedure at Vancouver General Hospital. NeuroBlate is currently the only minimally invasive robotic laser thermotherapy tool available in Canada, following Health Canada licensing late last year.

Dr. Toyota used the NeuroBlate System’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and software-based visualization to ablate a tumor in a Canadian patient’s brain.

“With NeuroBlate, we aim to remove the diseased tissue while protecting the healthy tissue around it as much as possible. In some situations we can remove the vast majority of the tumor, with a minimally invasive procedure that may allow the patient to even walk out of the hospital in about 24 hours,” said Dr. Toyota.

“I am proud to be the first surgeon in Canada to use this technology, but even more I am especially pleased with how well it worked. The patient was in a dire situation, but the procedure went very well and his post-operative recovery was remarkable.”

NeuroBlate was devised by Monteris Medical. The NeuroBlate System employs a pulsed surgical laser to deliver targeted energy to abnormal brain tissue such as tumors and other neurological soft tissue lesions.

With the NeuroBlate System, a surgeon makes a small hole in the skull, approximately as wide as a pencil. With precision, the surgeon then guides a small laser probe through the hole into the tumor. The probe delivers laser light energy to heat and destroy the tumor, through a process called ablation. The NeuroBlate System includes software that allows surgeons to precisely guide the ablation on a computer screen with MRI visualization.

With its minimally invasive and image-guided approach, the NeuroBlate System has shown results analogous to open surgery. However, because of its minimally invasive nature, patients undergoing procedures with the NeuroBlate System may experience less pain and reduced hospital length of stay compared with those undergoing open surgical procedures.

“Monteris Medical congratulates Dr. Toyota for conducting the first NeuroBlate procedure in Canada,” said John Schellhorn, President and CEO of Monteris Medical. “It is our hope that Canadian patients suffering from a variety of neuro pathologies will have access to a technology which enables them to have less traumatic neurosurgery experiences, with all of the benefits which that enables.”

About the NeuroBlate System®
The NeuroBlate System is Health Canada-licensed to necrotize or coagulate soft tissue encountered in the discipline of neurosurgery through the application of laser thermotherapy. Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2013, the NeuroBlate System has been used in more than 300 surgical procedures in more than 22 leading institutions across the U.S., including Cleveland Clinic, Washington University, UC San Diego Health System and Yale New Haven Hospital. The NeuroBlate System is a tool (as opposed to a “treatment”) that can be used by physicians to address tumors and lesions. The NeuroBlate System is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any specific disease, e.g., cancer. Physicians should use their clinical judgment and experience when deciding to use the NeuroBlate System. The technology is not appropriate for every tumor/lesion type and location. For example, it may be difficult to use the technology on certain large or irregularly shaped tumors. Certain placements of the laser probe into the brain, or too much heat applied, may cause bleeding or permanent brain damage. Some patients have temporary swelling after the procedure that may cause short-term abnormal brain or nervous system function. Any medical situation, including NeuroBlate, that requires a patient to stay still for long periods can cause dangerous blood clots (deep venous thrombosis). Full prescribing information for the NeuroBlate System is available at

About Monteris Medical
Monteris Medical is a privately held company developing devices for minimally invasive, MR-guided neurosurgery. Monteris markets the NeuroBlate System for controlled, volumetric ablation of brain lesions. Monteris also offers the various Stereotactic anchoring devices for image-guided trajectory alignment, and the AtamA Stabilization System for MR based procedures requiring versatile head fixation. Now headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Monteris was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and maintains a significant portion of its staff and operations there. For more information on Monteris Medical please visit

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