The exponential growth of technology and computer processing capabilities in connection with the philosophy of stereotactic neurosurgery and the progress specifically in medical imaging were the basis for the development of navigation systems; which were designed in order to perform more effective, accurate and convenient, safer and less invasive neurosurgical operations . Surgical navigation was firstly invented in 1986 by a neurosurgeon: David Roberts, marking only the beginning of an amazing ongoing progress of the surgical navigation . Modern intraoperative navigation systems provide several significant and advantageous functions, e.g. multiplanar image reconstruction and three-dimensional (3D) planning (preoperative and intraoperative), real-time intraoperative surgical instrument guidance, and precise localization of intracranial targets [4,5]. Moreover, they include many useful tools (e.g. measurement tools) and they can implement scans from many imaging methods (e.g. CT, MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), Tractography, and Positron Emmision Tomography). Although the history of navigation is closely connected with the history of Neurosurgery, it was also afterwards expanded to other surgical disciplines, e.g. Spine surgery, Orthopedics, Craniomaxillofacial, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) or even abdominal operations. Navigation systems can be used for numerous neurosurgical applications being an invaluable investment for any modern neurosurgical department (see Table). It seems that the only neurosurgeons that have not been addicted to navigation systems are those that do not have them available in their hospitals or few exceptions, like the worldwide famous neurosurgeon professor Hugues Duffau a true surgical neuroanatomist who prefers to rely only on his knowledge and eyes with astonishing published work unraveling the mysteries of the brain! [6,7].
2. Mezger U, Jendrewski C, Bartels M. Navigation in surgery. Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2013;398(4):501-514.
3. Roberts DW, Strohbehn JW, Hatch JF, Murray W, Kettenberger H. A frameless stereotaxic integration of computerized tomographic imaging and the operating microscope. J Neurosurg. 1986;65(4):545-549.
4. Georgiopoulos M, Ellul J, Chroni E, Constantoyannis C. Minimizing technical failure of percutaneous balloon compression for trigeminal neuralgia using neuronavigation. ISRN Neurol. 2014;2014:630418.
5. Bale RJ, Laimer I, Martin A, et al. Frameless stereotactic cannulation of the foramen ovale for ablative treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Neurosurgery. 2006;59(4):394-401.
6. Tate MC, Herbet G, Moritz-Gasser S, Tate JE, Duffau H. Probabilistic map of critical functional regions of the human cerebral cortex: Broca’s area revisited. Brain. 2014;137(Pt 10):2773-2782.
7. Thiebaut de Schotten M, Urbanski M, et al. Direct evidence for a parietalfrontal pathway subserving spatial awareness in humans. Science. 2005;309(5744):2226-2228.
8. Kwon WK, Park DH, Park KJ, et al. Prognostic factors of clinical outcome after neuronavigation-assisted hematoma drainage in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2014;123:83-89.
9. Wilson TJ, Stetler WR, Al-Holou WN. Sullivan SE Comparison of the accuracy of ventricular catheter placement using freehand placement, ultrasonic guidance, and stereotactic neuronavigation. J Neurosurg. 2013;119(1):66-70.
10. Meng XT, Guan XF, Zhang HL, He SS. Computer navigation versus fluoroscopy-guided navigation for thoracic pedicle screw placement: a metaanalysis. Neurosurg Rev. 2016;39(3):385-391.
11. Georgiopoulos M, Ellul J, Chroni E, Constantoyannis C. Efficacy, Safety, and Duration of a Frameless Fiducial-Less Brain Biopsy versus Frame-based Stereotactic Biopsy: A Prospective Randomized Study. J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2017 Jun 12.