A brain tumor resection is a surgical procedure to remove a tumor in the brain. This is the treatment of choice for brain cancers, as it will ideally prevent the tumor from growing and spreading, and will limit pressure on the brain caused by the tumor. This procedure requires the experience of a neurosurgeon, a doctor who specializes in performing surgery on the brain, and takes place in a sterile operating room with a team of medical professionals who monitor the patient throughout the procedure.
When a doctor determines that a patient has brain cancer, she may order a number of medical imaging studies and biopsies, if possible, to learn as much as possible about the growth. The goal is to get a complete picture for the purpose of developing an effective treatment plan. This can include consulting with oncologists, neurosurgeons, and other medical professionals who can determine the best course of action for a patient.
If a patient is a good candidate for a brain tumor resection, usually the doctor recommends surgery as soon as possible. The patient needs to have the surgery and recover completely before he can receive additional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, and the longer the tumor sits, the more dangerous it can become. The brain surgeon will develop a plan for approaching the tumor while minimizing damage to neighboring tissues.
Performing a brain tumor resection requires a high level of skill. The brain is extremely delicate, and damage to its tissues can have serious consequences for the patient. The goal is to extract the tumor without disrupting neighboring cells, sometimes using advanced surgical techniques like laser-guided surgery. Sometimes tumors are hard to identify in situ, and the surgeon may request a quick pathology report while the patient is still under anesthesia to make sure she got all of it. If necessary, she can remove more tissue to take out all the cancerous material.
After a brain tumor resection, the surgeon will monitor the patient until he is fully conscious. Usually the surgeon performs some tests to assess brain function and check to see if the patient is experiencing complications like partial paralysis, memory loss, aphasia, and other issues. If necessary, the patient may need physical and occupational therapy to recover skills. Once the patient recovers from the brain tumor resection, the doctor can discuss additional treatment measures to address the cancer, including chemotherapy and/or radiation to prevent recurrence of the growth.