Neurosurgical Procedures Used In The Treatment Of A Brain Tumor

If you have a brain tumor, then there is a good chance that the tumor will need to be removed, regardless of whether the growth is benign or malignant. A neurosurgeon will complete the operation and there are a few types of neurosurgery that you can expect to ensure that the growth is successfully removed and your health is retained. Keep reading to learn about a couple of them.

Tumor Removal Surgery

The highest potential for a positive outcome usually requires the removal of your brain tumor, and oftentimes the entirety of the growth is removed through a direct surgical approach. In this scenario, a wide variety of imaging tests are utilized to pinpoint the exact location and size of the growth. Mapping tools may be used to create three-dimensional images of the tumor so that no healthy tissue is harmed during the surgery and so that no cancer cells are left behind.

Before tumor removal occurs, you will likely go through some radiation to shrink the tumor. Then, a craniotomy is scheduled to open up the skull and to expose the brain directly above the tumor. The smallest bone flap possible is created during the process. Sometimes a flap may be avoided and a smaller opening is formed instead. This is called a burr hole. Burr holes allow for endoscopic procedures while craniotomies involve more traditional surgical approaches using scalpels or laser tools.

Brain Shunt Placement

Some brain tumors cause permanent damage to the ventricles that lie within the brain tissue. These ventricles allow for the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and they are essential in keeping brain pressure within a safe range. When the ventricles are damaged, fluid can build in the brain without draining properly. The result is massive swelling and brain damage. The condition is called hydrocephalus, and it can be fatal. 

To prevent hydrocephalus, your neurologist will insert a drainage device inside the brain called a brain shunt. The shunt is a small tube that is placed within one of the main brain ventricles so that fluid can flow out of the brain. The other end of the tube is placed elsewhere in the body, like within the peritoneal cavity, where the fluid can be absorbed naturally. 

Shunt placement involves a neurological procedure where the shunt and tube is placed in the middle section of the brain. A small opening in the skull is used for this purpose and you will be monitored closely afterward to make sure that fluid drains and that pressure within the head does not increase. 

For more information on neurosurgery techniques for the removal of brain tumors, talk to a neurosurgeon in your area.