BRAIN TUMOR SURGERY
What is brain tumor surgery?
The brain is the body organ composed of nerve cells and supportive tissues like glial cells and meninges – there are three major parts – they control your activity like breathing (brain stem), activity like moving muscles to walk (cerebellum) and your senses like sight and our memory, emotions, thinking and personality (cerebrum).
Primary brain tumors can be either malignant (contain cancer cells) or benign (do not contain cancer cells). A primary brain tumor is a tumor which begins in the brain tissue. If a cancerous tumor starts elsewhere in the body, it can spread cancer cells, which grow in the brain.
A brain tumor is a collection of cells that have grown in a non ordered way. tumor that start in the brain are called primary brain tumor.
This is different to cancers that have spread to the brain from somewhere else in the body. These are called secondary brain tumor or brain metastases.
Why is neurosurgery performed for brain tumours? Why brain surgery is done?
Neurosurgery aims to completely remove your tumour or remove as much of it as possible. This type of surgery is performed on the brain or spinal cord by a highly specialised doctor known as a neurosurgeon.
Neurosurgery may also be performed for other reasons related to the treatment and management of your tumour and its associated symptoms.
Surgery can have several purposes:
- Diagnosis of tumour type (biopsy)
- Whole or partial removal of the tumour (craniotomy)
- Insertion of chemotherapy drugs directly into the brain
- Reduction of associated conditions, such as a build-up of the cerebrospinal fluid
It is important to know that neurosurgery is not always possible. If your brain tumour is too close to an important part of the brain, surgery may be too risky. In this case, another treatment option will be suggested.
When you wake up after surgery, you will have a number of tubes coming in and out of your body to help:
- Drain fluids
- Give you water, nutrients and medicine
- Monitor your body
You may have swelling and bruising on your face, and you may have a dressing on your wound, but not necessarily. You may also feel some temporary worsening of the symptoms you had before the surgery.
Other temporary, post-operative effects include:
- Sickness and nausea
- Momentary phases of feeling dizzy / confused
- Difficulty swallowing
- New symptoms, e.g. personality changes, poor balance / co-ordination, speech problems and epileptic seizures (fits).