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Brain Tumor Surgery

 

Surgery is usually the first step in treating most benign and many malignant tumours. Although a second opinion is not always necessary, many patients seek one before proceeding with surgery.

It is the initial treatment for most benign and many malignant tumours and also the preferred treatment when a tumour can be removed without any unnecessary risk of neurological damage.

Neurosurgery aims to completely remove your tumour or remove as much of it as possible. This type of surgery is performed on the brain or spinal cord by a highly specialised doctor known as a neurosurgeon. The doctors at Aakash healthcare, are experts, they are dedicated, well trained and do their best to give the best treatment possible to the patient.

Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms of benign brain tumours often are not specific. The following is a list of symptoms that, alone or combined, can be caused by benign brain tumours; unfortunately, these symptoms can occur in many other diseases:

  • vision problems
  • hearing problems
  • balance problems
  • changes in mental ability (for example, concentration, memory, speech)
  • seizures, muscle jerking
  • change in sense of smell
  • nausea/vomiting
  • facial paralysis
  • headaches
  • numbness in extremities

How is brain tumour generally diagnosed?

To gain an accurate diagnosis of the tumour, a small sample of tumour tissue may be taken. This is done by an operation known as a 'biopsy'. The tumour sample will be sent to the laboratory to be analysed and diagnosed by a neuropathologist.A biopsy generally takes about 2-3 hours.

Craniotomy - whole or partial removal of the tumour

To remove part or all of your tumour, the neurosurgeon needs greater access to your brain. The operation to do this is known as a 'craniotomy'. It is the most common type of surgery for brain tumours.

It can be performed when you are awake or when you are asleep. An 'awake craniotomy' may be performed if the tumour is close to areas of the brain that control important functions. Waking you part way through the operation allows the neurosurgeon to check where these functions are in your brain by asking you to perform certain tasks, such as reading out loud, during the operation. This enables them to avoid damage to these areas.

What happens during a craniotomy?

  • A small area of your head may be shaved and you may be given local anaesthetic.
  • An incision is made in your scalp and a small part of your skull will be removed.
  • If you are having an awake craniotomy, you will be woken at this point to allow your neurosurgeon to map where the functions of the brain are located in your brain.
  • As much of the tumour as is safely possible, will be removed .

Potential risks involved in the surgery:

General risks for anyone going through surgery for any reason include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood Pressure instability

Specific risks associated with brain tumour surgery include:

  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Balance/coordination difficulties
  • Memory or cognitive problems
  • Spinal fluid leakage
  • Meningitis
  • Brain swelling
  • Stroke
  • Excess fluid in the brain
  • Coma

Approximately how much time does it take for the patient to recover?

The recovery time depends on the procedure performed, the part of the brain where the tumour is/was located and also on the areas of the brain affected by surgery.

Follow-up:

After a few days, most probably you will have a brain scan to see how much, if any, of the tumour remains and the amount of swelling you have. You may then be given chemotherapy or radiotherapy in order to get rid of any remaining tumour cells. You may also be given:

  • steroids to reduce swelling and pressure on the brain
  • Anti-epileptic medication as a preventative measure against seizures(‘fits') due toincreased pressure in the head
 

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