Brain tumors are abnormal growths of cells located in the brain. Brain tumor surgery is a complex operation that requires careful planning and requires specialized surgical techniques. Surgeons must methodically remove the tumor while minimizing damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
Brain tumor surgery may be used to diagnose and treat brain tumors. Surgery may be necessary to reduce symptoms caused by the tumor’s growth, or to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Depending on the location and type of tumor, some brain tumors cannot be safely removed, but surgery remains the best option for many tumors.
There are various types of brain tumor surgery, each with its own unique characteristics. The two most common types of brain tumor surgery are open brain surgery and image-guided robotic surgery.
Open Brain Surgery
Open brain surgery, also known as craniotomy, is the traditional approach to removing brain tumors. It involves creating a large incision in the scalp to expose the brain, removing a portion of the skull to access the tumor, then using various surgical instruments to remove the tumor. If a tumor is positioned in an area of the brain vital to life sustaining functions, the surgeon may opt to perform a partial removal in order to minimize damage to the surrounding tissue.
Image Guided Robotic Surgery
Image guided robotic surgery is a newer form of brain tumor removal that is less invasive. In this surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the scalp and places a tiny probe equipped with a tiny video camera into the brain. A robotic arm, attached to the probe, maneuvers through the brain and precisely removes the tumor. This type of surgery is less invasive than an open surgery and reduces the amount of time a patient is under anesthesia.
Recovery from Brain Tumor Surgery
The recovery process after brain tumor surgery varies depending on the type of surgery and tumor size. Generally, the recovery period is divided into three phases: the acute phase, the subacute phase, and the chronic phase of rehabilitation.
During the acute phase, which is 1-3 weeks after surgery, the patient is monitored closely by doctors and nurses in the hospital. Common symptoms during this phase include pain, nausea, confusion, and headaches. Over the next few weeks, the patient can gradually begin to return to physical activities, such as mild exercise and walking.
For the subacute phase, which occurs 3-12 weeks after surgery, physical and occupational therapist will work with the patient to improve strength and mobility. During this time, the patient may also require psychological therapies to address any emotional challenges encountered.
Finally, the chronic phase, or 12 weeks after surgery, involves continued rehabilitation and lifestyle adjustments. During this phase, the patient will work on restoring normal function, such as returning to work or school, in addition to continuing with healing physical activities.
Brain tumor surgery is a complex procedure that can be both physically and emotionally challenging. It is important to listen to your doctor’s directions and to be patient with your own recovery. With proper care and support, you can achieve full recovery from brain tumor surgery.