stereotactic

adjective

ste·​reo·​tac·​tic ˌster-ē-ə-ˈtak-tik How to pronounce stereotactic (audio)
ˌstir-
: involving, being, utilizing, or used in a surgical technique for precisely directing the tip of a delicate instrument (such as a needle) or beam of radiation in three planes using coordinates provided by medical imaging in order to reach a specific locus in the body
stereotactically adverb

Did you know?

At the beginning of the 20th century, neurosurgeons were experimenting with a technique used to direct the tip of a needle or an electrode in three spatial planes (length, width, and depth) to reach a particular place in the brain. At that time, the word for this technique was "stereotaxic," based on the prefix stereo- ("dealing with three dimensions of space") and "taxis" (referring to the manual restoration of a displaced body part). In 1950, "stereotactic" (based on tactic, meaning "of or relating to touch) joined the medical vocabulary as a synonym of "stereotaxic." Around the same time, a noninvasive neurosurgery technique was developed using beams of radiation. It is this procedure that is now often referred to by "stereotactic" and (less frequently) "stereotaxic."

Examples of stereotactic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If lung cancer is caught at an early stage, treatments usually include surgically removing the cancerous tumor or stereotactic body radiotherapy, radiation that targets the cancerous cells, said Dr. Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, a thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 19 Dec. 2023 At issue is a study that was begun in 1998 to determine whether a single treatment of stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as targeted irradiation, would prolong life for outpatients with metastasizing brain tumors. Ed Silverman, STAT, 16 Oct. 2021 If something's deemed not right, the next step could be genetic testing, a diagnostic mammogram, stereotactic biopsy, ultrasound, or MRI, which can range in prices from $750 to over $5,000. Meredith C. Carroll, The Week, 2 Oct. 2017 The type of radiation treatment Ginsburg had, called stereotactic ablative radiation therapy, concentrates radiation on the tumor, limiting damage to the surrounding organs, and is generally less disruptive. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Sep. 2019 Ginsburg was treated using a new form of outpatient radiation therapy called stereotactic ablative radiation therapy for a tumor found on her pancreas. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, 24 Aug. 2019 This time, Ginsburg underwent a specific course of treatment—stereotactic ablative radiation therapy—which began on August 5, just days after a biopsy confirmed her pancreatic tumor was malignant. Christina Oehler, Health.com, 23 Aug. 2019 According to the Supreme Court statement, Ginsburg completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2019 Research Medical is not the only local institution that offers stereotactic radiosurgery, though. Andy Marso, kansascity.com, 23 June 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stereotactic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stereotactic was in 1950

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Dictionary Entries Near stereotactic

Cite this Entry

“Stereotactic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stereotactic. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

stereotactic

adjective
ste·​reo·​tac·​tic ˌster-ē-ə-ˈtak-tik, ˌstir- How to pronounce stereotactic (audio)
: 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
stereotactically adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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