Brain Tumor Center
Many brain tumors can be resected or surgically removed, depending on the type of tumor, the location of the tumor, and the patient's overall health status. Some tumors can be monitored using repeated diagnostic studies, such as regularly scheduled MRI or CT scans. Some tumors, such as skull base tumors and acoustic neuromas require a team approach to treatment of the tumor.
Other technology includes STEALTH-guided navigation or stereotactic surgical navigation. During stereotactical surgery your head will be held stationary or fixated during the surgery. Then a carbon-dioxide laser with fiber optic connections will be placed on the surgical instruments. This may result in less bleeding and less mechanical trauma and can reduce the size of the tumor.
Each tumor and each patient is managed individually based on a careful review of the patient's status, the diagnostic studies, and discussions with the specialists involved in the care of the patient.
When talking to your neurosurgeon about surgery, some of the more commonly asked questions include the following:
This is not a comprehensive list of questions. You should ask as many questions as you need to make yourself feel comfortable with your decisions about treatment. Our neurosurgeons strive to keep the size of the incision to a minimum. For cosmetic reasons, most incisions are made behind the hairline. By using this technique, there is a less visible scar after surgery.
Most brain tumor surgery requires general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep during the operation. You will have multiple IV lines placed prior to surgery including a large IV in the vein in your neck that will be used for continuous monitoring of your condition throughout surgery and after your operation is over. You will receive some calming medicines (sedation) as well as local anesthesia before the lines are placed. However, using newer technology, some tumors can be removed using an awake craniotomy technique.
After arriving in the operating room, you will be asked to move to the operating table. An anesthetist and anesthesiologist will begin giving you more medication through the IV lines. You will be heavily sedated and a tube will be placed into your throat that will breathe for you during the surgery. You will be completely asleep and monitored constantly during the surgery. After the surgery is completed and you awaken, the breathing tube will be removed and you will be taken to the recovery room. Most patients will spend one night in the intensive care unit for observation.