Thermocoagulation is one of newer treatments that is used to treat primary and metastatic brain tumours which can be hard to treat with other treatment options. A primary brain tumour is a growth that starts within the brain and a metastatic brain tumour is cancer that comes from another part of the body and then comes to the brain.

Thermocoagulation involves inserting a laser into the tumour and then heating it until the cells die and therefore kill the tumour.

This procedure is done under general anaesthetic, meaning that the patient is asleep throughout. An incision is made in the scalp and a small hole is then put in the skull; this is known as the assess point. An MRI is used throughout to ensure that the laser reaches the precise area of the brain required. The laser is then activated to heat the tumour. During the procedure, the temperature of both the tumour and surrounding tissue are closely monitored. Once this has been completed, the laser is removed and the incision is closed up.

Before you have the surgery, your surgeon will go over everything you need to know and answer any questions that you may have; don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want. As thermocoagulation is done under general anaesthetic, you will be asked to avoid drinking and eating for a number of hours before the surgery.

It is important to note that thermocoagulation cannot be used for every type of brain tumour, and your surgeon will talk through all the different treatment options.

As with all surgery there are some risks, however these will be covered by your doctor before the surgery.

Once you have had the surgery you will be able to return home the next day if everything has gone well. They will arrange a follow up appointment and your doctor will give you a list of instructions to follow to ensure that you have a speedy recovery.

At The London Neurosurgery Partnership, thermocoagulation is done by many of the team including Ranj Bhangoo and Professor Ashkan. If you would like to speak to a member of our team please call us on 0207 034 8709 or email us at