Advances in brain tumor surgery

Written by: Dr. Bartolomé Oliver Abadal
Edited by: Top Doctors®

What types of brain tumors are there?

We can distinguish between benign tumors, tumors that grow at the base of the skull or compressing the brain from the covers, and tumors that grow inside the brain. These tumors are mostly malignant and have a worse prognosis than those that only compress the brain.

With what advanced techniques do we have today in the surgery of brain tumors?

There have been major changes in the field of neurosurgery , apart from the usual microsurgery today we use endoscopic surgery that we use for tumors that appear at the base of the skull, which, as I said, are benign tumors. develops from the nose and can avoid many times having to do what we call a craniotomy.

We have also introduced techniques in the use of the intraoperative image so that at the time of surgery we can confirm by means of a scanner or magnetic resonance the existence of tumor remnants and with this update the intraoperative navigation system, which is like a GPS to perform the surgeries

Another field that has revolutionized the results is to monitor the function of the nerves or properly the brain, we can locate the brain areas important for language or movement and thus avoid injury or monitor the function of important cranial nerves such as facial nerve , the nerve of the hearing, the visuals, in order to preserve those functions. We have also benefited from the diagnosis of presurgical imaging with which we can know the location of brain functions also in these images that we have in the intraoperative navigation systems, this is done by magnetomography, functional magnetic resonance or tractography.

Recently, the resection of malignant brain tumors guided by fluorescence has been introduced, a product is used that is administered to the patient before surgery and during surgery through special optical systems we can see the normal brain tissue differentiated from the tumor tissue that offers an image of positive fluorescence and we can make a more complete resection.

What are the results after the brain tumor surgery?

As we said previously we have to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors. In benign tumors the percentage of cure is very high, practically all of them achieve at least a control of tumor growth, although it is true that in some cases, between 5 and 8% of cases, there may be recurrence of this tumor and require new long-term treatments. These patients can rejoin their daily lives after 10 - 15 days of surgery, maximum in a month.

In the case of malignant tumors the prognosis is more serious and we get cures in some but most of the malignant tumors have a survival of between 18 months and two years and their reincorporation to the habitual life is delayed at 3 or 6 months due to having to do complementary treatments such as radiotherapy.

What are the symptoms of brain tumors?

The symptoms of the brain tumor are very varied depending on the brain area that affects the tumor. They can be alterations in vision, loss or alteration in hearing, endocrinological diseases if they affect the pituitary gland, alterations of higher functions (reasoning, memory, judgment) or alterations in the movement or in the coordination of that movement. There may also be headaches and epileptic-type seizures or crises of loss of consciousness.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Bartolomé Oliver Abadal
Neurological Surgery

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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