Principles of Stereotaxy

  • Jeremy C. Ganz


There are few parts of the body which may not be approached by means of a surgical operation. An exception to this rule is the deep parts of the brain. The reasons are easy to understand. The head is a rigid cavity and about 90% by volume of its contents is cerebral tissue. This tissue tolerates retraction and displacement badly. Moreover, access to, for example, the basal ganglia involves an unavoidable and unacceptable risk of damage to eloquent areas lying superficial to or adjacent to these ganglia. Thus, conventional open surgical techniques are an essentially inappropriate method to use for operations in the depths of the brain, irrespective of the sophistication of modern microsurgical techniques. These problems have been appreciated for a long time. A solution, at least in principle, has also been around for a long time, in fact since before the first world war.


Arteriovenous Malformation Gamma Knife Gamma Knife Surgery Stereotactic Frame Stereotactic Surgery 
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Suggested Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Bosch DA (1986) Stereotactic techniques in clinical neurosurgery. Springer, Wien New York, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gildenberg PL (1988) General concepts of stereotactic surgery. In: Lunsford LD (ed) Modern stereotactic neurosurgery. Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston, pp 3–11Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Horsley V, Clarke RH (1908) The structure and functions of the cerebellum examined by a new method. Brain 31: 45–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Leksell L A (1949) Stereotaxic apparatus for intracerebral surgery. Acta Chir scand 99: 229–233Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Spiegel EA, Wycis HT (1962) Stereoencephalotomy. Part I I. Clinical and physiological applications. Gruve, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Spiegel EA, Wycis HT, Marks M, Lee AJ (1947) Stereotaxic apparatus for operations on human brain. Science 106: 349–350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Talairach J, David M, Tournoux P, et al (1957) Atlas d’anatomie stereotaxique. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy C. Ganz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity School of MedicineGrazAustria

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