The Image-Guided Surgery Toolkit is a high-level, component-based framework that provides a common functionality for image-guided surgery applications. The framework is a set of high-level components integrated with low-level open source software libraries and application programming interfaces (API) from hardware vendors.

The cornerstone of IGSTK is robustness. IGSTK provides the following high-level functionality: the ability to read and display medical images, including CT and MRI in DICOM format; an interface to common tracking hardware (e.g., AURORA from NDI); a GUI and visualization capabilities, including four-quadrant view (axial, sagittal, coronal, and 3D) and multi-slice axial view (from 1 x 1 to many by many, such as 10 x 10); point-based registration and a means for selecting these points; and robust common internal software services for logging, exception-handling, and problem resolution.