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Surgery is the primary treatment for benign (non-cancerous) tumors. The doctor might recommend surgery to remove the whole tumor, remove as much part of the tumor as possible to slow down its growth and improve symptoms, relieve symptoms such as build up of fluid or prepare for other treatments such as chemotherapy to remove cancerous tumor. Before a doctor goes ahead with the procedure, it is imperative for them to decide the type of brain tumor surgery to perform depending upon the type of the tumor. In this post, we discuss the types of surgeries performed to remove the tumor in the brain.
An incision is made in the scalp and holes are created near the affected area of the brain. Craniotomy is an open brain surgery in which the surgeon might choose to:
- Remove tumor
- Drain fluid or blood from infection
- Remove abnormal brain tissues
- Clip off aneurysm
After the procedure is complete, the surgery secures the bone flap with sutures, wires or plates. In cases of brain swelling, infection or tumor, the hole might be left open.
Brain tumor often increases the intracranial pressure in some patients, and that’s when a surgery is performed to remove the fluid from the part of the brain. The surgeon drills a small home in the skull to insert shunt, which is a narrow piece of catheter, into a ventricle in brain. The other end of the tube is threaded towards neck into other body cavity where the fluid will be drained and absorbed. The right atrium of the heart and abdominal cavity are the two common cavities used for drainage.
Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery
A minimally invasive surgery, Endonasal endoscopic surgery is performed to remove tumors or lesions through nose and sinuses. An endoscope is inserted through nose to remove tumors on the base of the skull, tumors growing at the bottom of the brain and tumors on pituitary gland.
A minimally invasive surgery, Neuroendoscopy is performed using endoscope to remove tumor in the brain. The surgeon makes small holes in the skull to access the parts of the brain during the procedure and remove the tumor.
Risks Involved in Brain Surgery
Brain surgery is a major surgery, and involves a lot of risks. Some possible risks are:
- Blood clot
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Swelling in brain
- Bleeding in brain
- Memory problem
- Impaired speed, balance, vision and coordination
- Infection in the brain
Patients undergoing brain surgery are kept under close monitoring for the initial few days to ensure that the body is not reacting adversely to the surgery. They have to be seated in raised position to prevent swelling. The hospital stay could be longer than a week, depending on how the body is reacting to the procedure and pain medication is given during the time period to make the pain bearable for the patient. After discharge family members or caregiver has to take care proper care of the patient to ensure safe and effective neuro oncology treatment.