Surgery is frequently the treatment of choice for patients with brain tumors. For some, surgical removal of the tumor and ongoing monitoring may resolve the problem. Others may require additional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor.
Some brain tumors are benign, which means they don't contain any cancerous cells. Cancerous (malignant) tumors may develop in the brain first or may have metastasized (spread from other organs).
Brain tumor surgery could be part of your treatment plan for any of these types of growth.
There are several approaches to brain tumor surgery:
Brain tumor resection is the complete removal of the tumor.
Some tumors are so close to sensitive areas of your brain that removing the entire growth is too risky. In these cases, your Advanced Neurosurgery surgeon takes out as much of the tumor as they can to relieve pressure inside your skull and help reduce your symptoms.
A biopsy involves taking a small sample of the brain tumor for lab analysis. This usually takes place at the same time as surgery to remove a tumor. However, it can also be a separate procedure if removing the tumor poses too great a risk of damage to critical parts of your brain.
Biopsies can confirm the tumor type, whether it’s malignant, and how advanced it is.
The primary challenge with brain tumor surgery is removing as much of the growth as possible without causing any damage to your normal brain tissue. This requires considerable skill and experience and the use of advanced technology, as is the case at Advanced Neurosurgery.
Before your brain tumor surgery, you need to undergo diagnostic imaging tests such as an MRI or CAT scan to isolate the tumor's location. Your provider might use fiducial markers (small, white, doughnut-shaped stickers) to highlight areas for treatment or surgical resection.
A CAT or MRI scan using the fiducials creates a 3D map that your surgeon can use as a reference point during surgery. In addition to giving a precise location for the tumor, it helps guide your surgeon so they avoid parts of your brain that are responsible for key functions.
There are several ways of carrying out brain tumor surgery. The most common is a craniotomy, which involves removing a section of bone from your skull to create a window to the tumor.
Alternatives include MRI-guided laser ablation, which destroys tumors that are more difficult to access via craniotomy, and endoscopic brain tumor surgery (neuroendoscopy).
If you have a tumor that needs surgical treatment, contact the experts in brain tumor surgery at Advanced Neurosurgery. Call their office or book an appointment online today.