Advanced Brain Tumor Surgery can help you in getting rid of malignant brain tumors. While in the past this surgery included the opening up of the bone flap of your skill, the advanced technology has made it possible to remove brain tumors in a minimally invasive way. Being very accurate and precise, such methods prevent any collateral damage to the healthy cells of the brain.
How it Works
The patient is given general anesthesia, after which a two inch incision is created near the patient’s hairline.
A quarter-sized hole is then made into the skull, usually known as the keyhole.
A thin tube-like retractor is used to carry out the surgery, which creates a narrow path, providing access to the tumor.
Through high-resolution cameras and robotic arm, the tumor is safely removed with exact precision.
Large tumors may however require a more invasive form of surgery that might take longer to recover. In case of advanced brain tumor surgery the patient may be discharged within two to four days. Within about a week or so the patient will be fully alert and active.
The surgery needs to be followed by chemotherapy and radiation sessions to make sure there are no cancerous cells left in the brain. Certain medications may be given to prevent vomiting, treat headaches, avoid seizures and reduce pressure or swelling if any.
Side Effects & Risks
Advanced brain tumor surgery ensures minimal damage to the healthy parts of the brain while removing the tumor. The severity of these side effects depends totally on the area of the brain that is operated and the condition of the tumor. A few side effects that are associated with brain tumor surgery include:
Bleeding with nausea, vomiting, sudden headache, weakness and numbness or loss of sensation
These side effects although temporary in effect, can be avoided through proper prescription of medications.
Preparing for the Brain Tumor Surgery
You may have to visit an internist who will make sure you are “medically clear” for your brain tumor surgery. In case you are at a risk of developing a heart attack, you may have to go through a few tests to ensure proper blood flow to your heart. It is better to inform your neurosurgeon in case you are on any kind of blood-thinning medications. If you are taking aspirin, you may have to stop taking it about a week or so before the day of surgery. Other medications such as vitamins, herbs as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories also will have to be stopped before your surgery.
The other tests that you may have to go through include:
MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging
CT Scan or CAT Scan (Computerized tomography)
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
Functional MRI (fMRI)
You may have to wash your hair before the surgery as you won’t be able to wash your hair again till you recover completely.
What to expect after brain tumor surgery?
The head ache is probably the first thing you would notice once you wake up from your advanced brain tumor surgery. This will nevertheless start fading away over the next few days.
You may have to spend the night in the ICU or the recovery room to make sure there are no complications post-surgery. During this time you may also have to go through a post-operative CAT scan, apart from the usual neuro-examinations.
You may be shifted to a regular room if you are fine by the morning. Once you are completely alert and awake you will be allowed to drink and subsequently eat. A physical therapist may start working on you to make sure you are up and walking around before you are discharged.
Apart from this, you will also be seen by internists, radiation oncologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, interns and residents.
You will have to follow all the instructions carefully and attend all the follow-up sessions for chemotherapy and radiation so that you recover completely.
Results of Advanced Brain Tumor Surgery
You might need a couple of months to get back to normalcy once you have had a brain tumor surgery. An advanced surgery can expedite your recovery process by minimizing the side effects. It may be quite a few days before you can communicate accurately. Your emotions may be difficult to control.
You may have to meet up with a psychiatrist and attend a few support groups to make sure you cope up with the challenges that life starts throwing at you. Nevertheless, with a positive attitude and a determination to recover, you will soon realize that there is life after a malignant brain tumor.