Hair sparing does not compromise real-time magnetic resonance imaging guided stereotactic laser fiber placement for temporal lobe epilepsy

J Clin Neurosci. 2018 Jun;52:71-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2018.03.022. Epub 2018 Mar 28.


Pre-operative scalp shaving is conventionally thought to simplify postoperative cranial wound care, lower the rate of wound infections, and ease optimal incision localization. Over the past few decades, some neurosurgeons have refrained from scalp shaving in order to improve patient satisfaction with brain surgery. However, this hair-sparing approach has not yet been explored in the growing field of magnetic resonance-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT). This study investigated the initial impact of a no-shave technique on post-operative wound infection rate as well as on entry and target accuracy in MRgLITT for mesial temporal epilepsy. Eighteen patients selected by the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program between November 2015 and August 2017 were included in the study. All patients underwent functional selective amygdalohippocampotomies using MRgLITT entirely within a diagnostic MRI suite. No hair was removed and no additional precautions were taken for hair or scalp care. Otherwise, routine protocols for surgical preparations and wound closure were followed. The study was performed under approval from Stanford University's Internal Review Board (IRB-37830). No post-operative wound infections or erosions occurred for any patient. The mean entry point error was 2.87 ± 1.3 mm and the mean target error was 1.0 ± 0.9 mm. There have been no other complications associated with this hair-sparing approach. The study's results suggest that hair sparing in MRgLITT surgery for temporal epilepsy does not increase the risk of wound complications or compromise accuracy. This preferred cosmetic approach may thus appeal to epilepsy patients considering such interventions.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Error; Hair sparing; Infection; Laser ablation; Laser interstitial thermal therapy; MRgLITT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hair*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scalp / surgery*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques / adverse effects*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology