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Hemangioblastoma Care in New Jersey

Doctors Looking At X-Ray of the brainHemangioblastomas are noncancerous slow-growing tumors that form in certain areas of nervous system. These rare tumors arise in the blood vessel lining. As they grow these tumors start to affect the brain or spinal cord function. For example, hemangioblastomas can appear in the cerebellum which is an area of the brain that’s responsible for balance, movement, and coordination. As the tumor increases its mass, it will start to exert pressure on the cerebellum and this can lead to debilitating symptoms such as frequent falls, imbalance, and a lack of coordination. Hemangioblastomas can also affect the flow of cerebrovascular fluid (CSF), which is a liquid substance that surrounds brain and spinal cord that is produced in the brain and drains out of the skull and down the spinal cord.  By the mass of the hemangioblastoma obstructing the flow of CSF, it causes an excessive amount of CSF around the brain leading to increasing pressure compressing the brain. Known as increased intracranial pressure caused by obstructing hydrocephalus, a neurosurgeon must quickly eliminate the pressure on the brain by removing the obstructing hemangioblastoma.

Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics aims to educate patients on their unique neurological condition. With extensive knowledge on all brain and spine conditions, the CNSO medical team, consisting of highly skilled neurosurgeons, will confirm the neurological diagnoses and provide surgical care only as indicated. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options of hemangioblastomas in NJ at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics.

Causes and Symptoms of Hemangioblastomas

Although the exact reason for the formation of hemangioblastomas is unknown, people with a genetic condition called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease may be more susceptible. Research shows that people with VHL disease have a predisposition to development multiple tumors around the brain and spinal cord, as well as developing cysts on the kidneys and other internal organs.

Various symptoms could indicate the growth of a tumor in the brain or spinal cord including:

  • Onset of frequent or severe headaches
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Back pain and pain in legs or arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness/tingling/loss of sensation in limbs
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

Many individuals with hemangioblastomas will not have symptoms unless the tumor becomes large enough to compress the structures of the surrounding nervous system. Provided there are no symptoms, the patient may not need treatment. A neurosurgeon should then just closely monitor the mass for growth or changes in patient’s neurological or musculoskeletal evaluation. If, however, a hemangioblastoma grows too large, it will begin to cause symptoms that can lead to serious consequences, such as brain swelling or the formation of brain cysts, that may require urgent surgical intervention.

Diagnosing Hemangioblastomas

If a patient experiences signs of a brain disease or tumor, it’s important to seek the proper medical care as soon as possible. This will allow neurological doctors to assess, diagnose, and treat it before symptoms get worse. The medical staff at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics has dedicated themselves to providing personal and comprehensive patient care. CNSO neurosurgeons will seek to learn about each patient, their medical history, their symptoms and how their lives are being affected.  e The CNSO physician assesses the patient’s symptoms and will be able to pinpoint the area of the body where the root problem exists.

After a physical examination is complete, the neurosurgeons may schedule a CT scan or MRI. This will provide an internal look at where the tumor location most likely exists, its size, and type. If the patient is experiencing symptoms, surgical options for its removal would be discussed. If symptoms are not present but you are diagnosed as having a hemangioblastoma as an incidental finding, it’s important to schedule regular neurological examinations with a neurosurgeon or neurologist, to monitor and prevent symptoms and serious complications in the future.

Treatment Options for Hemangioblastomas

Every patient is unique, and not all tumors must be treated in the same way. CNSO uses the latest advancements in technology to provide patients with relief from their symptoms. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, surgeons can remove the growth using procedural methods, including:

  • Resection Craniotomy surgery: This is a form of surgery that removes the hemangioblastomas from the spinal cord and brain. This will treat the symptoms associated with the mass.
  • Stereo Tactic Radiation therapy: This is a form of non-surgical treatment that can decrease tumor size and control its growth. It uses x-rays to radiate the tumor and shrink it before surgery. It is also a treatment of choice for tumors that are hard to reach via surgery and therefore cannot be removed
  • Proton beam therapy: This is a form of treatment that is an alternative to radiation therapy. By using proton beams, this therapy option also works to eliminate tumor cells in the affected area. Similar to radiation therapy, surgeons will utilize proton beam therapy to reduce the size of the tumor before surgery or to remove it if they cannot safely remove the tumor surgically.

After any tumor is removed, whether via radiation or surgery, the neurosurgeon will continue to monitor the affected area. Hemangioblastomas can grow back especially in individuals diagnosed with VHL disease. Regular monitoring and follow ups with your neurosurgeon are important and can help with early detection if there is a recurrence.

Hemangioblastoma Care at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics

The team at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics understands how difficult it can be to be diagnosed with a brain condition. CNSO employs compassionate and caring nurses, doctors, and neurosurgeons to deliver patient care at highest standards. The medical team is committed restoring function and improving the quality of life for patients.

When patients choose Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics, they can rest assured knowing they are in the hands of highly trained and experienced neurosurgeons. CNSO utilizes the most advanced surgical techniques and treatments available for most neurological, spinal, and musculoskeletal disorders. To learn more about hemangioblastoma care throughout New Jersey, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today.

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In order to provide an accurate diagnosis with the most effective treatment option for “back problems” and brain tumors, CNSO is led by neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. Under the care of our award-winning neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons, Northern NJ patients can have the confidence that their medical condition will be handled with consideration for their comfort and long-term well-being as well as technical excellence.

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