Brain surgery is most often done for patients with brain tumors. Surgery may be indicated for the more benign brain tumors, such as meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, and pituitary adenoma’s, as well as for malignant brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme and other types of malignant gliomas. Surgery for metastatic tumors, which are tumors that start somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain, is also very commonly performed. In fact, metastatic brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors.
In most cases, surgery is performed using image guided techniques, which allow us to perform minimally invasive surgery. The image guided techniques allow us to make a smaller incision, remove a smaller window of bone, and access the tumor very exactly, with greater safety. In some cases, only a brain biopsy is performed, followed by adjuvant treatment. We generally do NOT treat skull based tumors or aneurysms / AVMs.
Sometimes other treatment options will be recommended instead of surgery or as an adjunct to surgery, including radiation, radiosurgery, and chemotherapy. We work very closely with the other health-care professionals that provide these non-surgical treatment options, so that are patients care is optimized.
Other conditions which occasionally require brain surgery include:
- some vascular anomalies;
- bleeds in the brain due to high blood pressure or trauma;
- blood clots outside the brain;
- congenital anomalies such as Chiari malformation;
- trigeminal neuralgia or facial spasm;
- and hydrocephalus.
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