Healthcare Professionals

Visualase™<br>MRI-Guided<br>Laser Ablation

For the ablation of soft tissue in neurosurgery


Visualase™ MRI-guided laser ablation system lets you monitor tissue ablation in real-time. It provides significant advantages to the patient:

GE MRI easy MRI positioning
  • Smallest laser catheter on the market — 1.65 mm diameter
  • Requires a very small incision and 3.2 mm burr hole
  • Requires minimal sutures, typically a single stitch 1,2
  • Most patients have little or no hair removed
  • Less scarring compared to open procedures
  • Most patients are discharged after a shorter stay compared to open procedures — typically one day3-8
  • Requires no ionizing radiation or large skull flap


The Visualase™ Thermal Therapy System is indicated for use to necrotize or coagulate soft tissue through interstitial irradiation or thermal therapy under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance in medicine and surgery in cardiovascular thoracic surgery (excluding the heart and the vessels in the pericardial sac), dermatology, ear-nose-throat surgery, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, head and neck surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, radiology, and urology, for wavelengths 800 nm through 1060 nm.

Product Details

The Visualase™ system uses a laser to destroy unwanted soft tissue. Light energy is delivered to the target area using a small laser catheter. As the laser light is delivered, temperature in the target area rises. Real-time MRI thermographic imaging clearly maps tissue temperature changes, providing you precise control of the tissue ablation. 




Live MR thermometry lets you monitor tissue ablation in real time. With simultaneous, multiple plane monitoring and the ability to superimpose MR thermometry and thermal damage estimate maps, you can define and monitor the ablation zone, giving you the precision you need to deliver the results you expect.9-10




The Visualase™ system features easy-to-set temperature checkpoints for added confidence when ablating near critical structures. You can set checkpoints on either screen and in any plane. If temperature limits are hit, the laser immediately shuts off, preventing unwanted damage.




A small, 1.65 mm flexible catheter and shallow bone anchor provide broad surgical access. There is no need to sacrifice surgical trajectory or imaging coil selection due to laser design or patient positioning. The 360⁰ diffusing laser tip permits individual ablation times of only a few minutes.11,12  The in-plane thermometry approach eliminates readjustment of the MRI acquisition planes for a streamlined procedure.

Visualase Catheter

The 1.65 mm Visualase flexible catheter provides broad surgical access.


The Visualase™ system’s mobile cart design facilitates movement between magnets and readily connects to your MRI with a standard Ethernet cable. The mobility of the system offers unmatched flexibility when starting your laser ablation program and is designed for easy upgrades.

Visualase Mobile Cart System

The Visualase™ cart-based system provides unparalleled flexibility and mobility.


The Visualase™ system supports a workflow that addresses the unique challenges of performing a procedure within the MRI bore.


  • Create the Plan: Using stereotactic planning software, you plan the surgical approach, taking into account ablation coverage and catheter placement.

  • Place the Laser: Insert the small, flexible laser catheter in the target area. Visualase™ workflow is compatible with many stereotactic platforms so you and your team can follow a workflow that's already familiar.

  • Transport the Patient to MRI: The patient is moved to MRI in radiology or an intraoperative MRI is brought to the patient.

  • Perform the MRI-Guided Laser Ablation: Start with a pre-ablation scan. Then select the preferred thermal imaging planes, identify temperature check points, and start the ablation. As the target tissue heats up, Visualase™ software displays the thermal damage progress.

  • Close: Remove the laser applicator. The small incision can usually be closed with a single suture.1,2 The patient is moved to recovery and in many cases can return home the next day.3-8


Watch an overview of the Visualase™ procedure workflow.


Find the Instructions for Use in the product labeling supplied with each device or call Medtronic at 800-961-9055.


Jethwa, et al. J Neurosurg Peds 2011; 8:468


Torres-Reveron, et al. J Neurooncol 2013; 113:495


Jethwa et al. Neurosurg 2012; 71(ONS Suppl 1):ons133-ons145


Kang et al. Epilepsia 2015; doi:10.1111/epi.13284


Lewis et al. Epilepsia 2015; doi:10.1111/epi.13106


Patel et al. J Neurosurg 2016; doi: 10.3171/2015.7.JNS15244


Wilfong and Curry Epilepsia 2013; 54(9):10


Willie et al. Neurosurg 2014; 74(6): 569-584


Graham et al. Mag Reson Med 1999; 41:321


Sherar et al. Phys Med Biol 2000; 45:3563


Fabiano and Alberico World Neurosurg 2014; 10:34


Carpentier et al. Lasers Surg Med 2011; 43:943

View a graphic of a Class 3b and 4 laser product warning.