- Stereotactic refers to precise positioning in three-dimensional space. For example, biopsies, surgery or radiation therapy can be done stereotactically. In a stereotactic needle biopsy, the spot to be biopsied is located three-dimensionally, the information is entered into a computer, and the computer calculates the information and positions a needle to remove the biopsy sample. In stereotactic surgery, a system of three-dimensional coordinates is used to locate the site to be operated on. In stereotactic radiotherapy, a number of precisely aimed beams of ionizing radiation are aimed from diverse directions and meet at a specific point to deliver the radiation treatment to that point.
* * *ste·reo·tac·tic .ster-ē-ə-'tak-tik, .stir- adj involving, being, utilizing, or used in a surgical technique for precisely directing the tip of a delicate instrument (as a needle) or beam of radiation in three planes using coordinates provided by medical imaging (as computed tomography) in order to reach a specific locus in the body (as a tumor in the brain or breast) <a \stereotactic biopsy> <a \stereotactic surgical probe>ste·reo·tac·ti·cal·ly -ti-k(ə-)lē adv
* * *ster·eo·tac·tic (ster″e-o-takґtik) [stereo- + L. tactus touch] 1. characterized by precise positioning in space; said especially of discrete areas of the brain that control specific functions. 2. pertaining to types of surgery or radiotherapy that use a system of three-dimensional coordinates to locate the site to be operated on or irradiated. 3. thigmotactic.
Medical dictionary. 2011.