The use of high-frequency electromagnetics in brain tumour surgery

A. Gharabaghi, S. Safavi-Abbasi, B. Krischek, Guenther C. Feigl, W. Lüdemann, M. J. Mirzayan, M. Samii, M. Tatagiba, S. Heckl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The first commercially available high-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) system promises additional functionality for neurosurgical procedures. In a prospective study, we evaluated the optimal use as well as the limitations of this system designed for vaporizing tissue and for coagulation in brain tumour surgery. Methods: For the microsurgical treatment of 63 consecutive patients with various intracranial tumours, the EMF system was used in addition to the standard neurosurgical instrumentarium. The system was assessed with respect to its compatibility with the operating room environment. Furthermore, attention was given to the particular techniques required to use the system most effectively. The efficiency of the investigated tool was monitored throughout the study. Results: The EMF system functioned properly in all procedures and did not cause any complications. Specific handling techniques and electrode tip configurations could be defined for optimal use of high-frequency electromagnetics for vaporization and coagulation in different intraoperative settings. Thereby, the efficiency of the device could be increased throughout the study while ineffective use decreased from 7 to 2 cases. Although this tool is designed ergonomically and offers high tactile control, it cannot be used submerged in cerebrospinal fluid or under continuous irrigation, which makes it necessary to use it in tandem with suction devices to obtain a clear view on the surgical field. Conclusion: Maneuvering with the EMF system was substantially different to both monopolar and bipolar systems, clearly necessitating a learning curve for the surgeon. This device was found to be a valuable complementary tool to standard electrosurgical instruments when applied effectively and with elaborated techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-719
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Bipolar
  • Brain tumour surgery
  • Electromagnetic device
  • Electrosurgery
  • Monopolar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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