Brain Tumor Surgery

Brain tumor surgery is a type of surgery to remove tumor from brain which is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain.

November 18, 2021

Brain tumor surgery is a type of surgery to remove tumor from brain which is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain.

Some facts about Brain Tumor Surgery:

  • Brain tumors can be either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).
  • Primary brain tumors are tumors that begin in your brain where as secondary (metastatic) brain tumors are cancer that can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain.
  • The effect of brain tumor on the function of your nervous system is determined by the growth rate as well as the location of a brain tumor.
  • Treatment of brain tumor depends on the type of brain tumor as well as its size and location.
  • Stereotactic surgery, Embolization, Endoscopy, Laser surgeryPhotodynamic laser surgery, and Ultrasonic aspiration are different surgical techniques that are utilized in the treatment of brain tumors

Types of Brain Tumor:

  • Gliomas is a brain tumor that begin in the brain or spinal cord and include astrocytomas, ependymomas, glioblastomas, oligoastrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas.
  • Meningioma is mostly a noncancerous tumor that arises from the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord
  • Acoustic neuromas are benign tumors that grows on the nerves which control balance and hearing leading from your inner ear to your brain.
  • Pituitary adenomas are tumors that arises in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain and can affect the pituitary hormones with effects throughout the body.
  • Medulloblastomas are usually cancerous brain tumors that begins in the lower back part of the brain and get spread through the spinal fluid. These are most common in children, though they can occur at any age.
  • Germ cell tumors may develop in the areas where the testicles or ovaries will form and can affect the brain.
  • Craniopharyngiomas are rare tumors that develop near the pituitary gland of brain.

Preparation for Brain Surgery:

  • Several test are performed by doctors to determine if brain tumor surgery can be performed on a patient and the risk for future concerns and assessments that typically occur over 1 to 3 weeks before brain tumor surgery.
  • The doctor will able to decide the type of brain tumor surgery procedure that will be most suitable for the patient and the expected results on brain tumor surgery recovery based on these test.
  • Some of these tests include blood tests, an electro echocardiogram (EEG), X-rays, CT scan and MRI scans.
  • There will be a discussion with your doctor on your medication that you are taking should be continued or stopped prior to the operation.
  • The food allergies should also be discussed to help determine the diet and post-operative medication.
  • All the information about medical history of the patient, family history of blood or brain disorders and alcohol usage should be shared with the neurosurgeon prior to the brain tumor surgery procedure.

Procedure for Brain Tumor Surgery:

  • The usual treatment for most brain tumors is surgery.
  • An opening in the skull will be made by a neurosurgeon to remove a brain tumor. This type of operation is called a craniotomy,in which the surgeon attempts to remove the entire tumor whenever possible.
  • As much of the tumor as possible will be removed by your surgeon if the tumor cannot be completely removed without damaging vital brain tissue.
  • The symptoms of brain tumor can be relieved by partial removal by reducing pressure on the brain. The amount of tumor to be treated by radiation therapy or chemotherapy can also be reduced by partial removal of tumor.
  • Only a biopsy will be done for tumors that cannot be removed to determine the type of cells it contains. A biopsy will help your doctor decide the type of treatment to be used.
  • Biopsy can also be done with a needle in which a special head frame will be used by the doctor  CT scans or MRI to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor.
  • A small hole will be made in the skull by the doctor and then the needle is used to guide to the tumor. The treatment process is called stereotaxis.
  • Brain surgery is risky when they are located near sensitive areas in your brain or can't be separated from surrounding tissue.
  • Stereotactic surgical techniques uses a computers to create a three-dimensional image, called as stereotaxy of tumor and analyze the information.
  • The surgical procedure can be map out beforehand by using stereotaxy so that rehearsal on the procedure can be done by the surgeon or the radiation specialist can plan radiation therapy.
  • The surgeon to accurately insert the needle for biopsy, the laser beam for vaporization, the scalpel for cutting, or the suction device for aspiration because of the third dimension provided by stereotaxy.
  • Stereotactic surgical techniques are useful to reach a tumor that is located deep within the brain, such as the brain stem or thalamus.
  • Stereotaxy can be performed either with or without a head frame.
  • The head of the patient will be placed in a rigid frame in case of Steriotaxy with a head frame so that the attached scanning devices can accurately pinpoint the tumor location in three-dimensional space.
  • The head of the patient will be hold in place by this rigid frame during the pre-surgical scans and the surgery itself.
  • The surgery can be planned and the surgeon's tools can be guided by the  images produced, with their relational coordinates during the procedure.
  • An imaging hand-held device will be utilized in case of frameless steriotaxy rather than CT or MRI.
  • An imaging wand is used by the surgeon to touch the structures in the patient's brain.
  • A quick and continuous real time information about the location o tumor during surgery can be provided by the wand.
  • It can be useful during skull base surgery and removal of multiple tumors.

Risk of Brain Tumor Surgery:

Infection and bleeding are the most common risk of surgery to remove a brain tumor. Other risks may depend on the location of tumor. or example, there will be a risk of vision loss if surgery is done on a tumor near nerves that connect to your eyes.