Brain Tumor Surgery in Northern New Jersey
THE NEXT STEP AFTER being diagnosed with a brain tumor should be the easiest – find the right team to treat you. Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics has some of the top neurosurgeons in the country, who have experience and knowledgeable of the latest advancements for treating brain tumors. The CNSO neurosurgeons use both non-invasive and minimally invasive state-of-the-art technology to remove brain tumors. These techniques shorten the patient’s recovery time. Learn more about diagnosing and treating brain tumors at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics in Northern New Jersey.
About Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are classified based on which type of brain tissue has overgrown or whether the tumor has metastasized to the brain from another part of the body. Depending on the location and size of the tumor, the patient may experience varying symptoms ranging from mild to more severe impediments to daily functioning. The most common signs of a brain tumor include:
- Frequent or severe headaches
- Seizures or convulsions
- Difficulty speaking
- Personality or behavioral changes
- Weakness, numbness, or paralysis on one side of the body
- Frequent loss of balance or dizziness
- Loss of hearing
- Vision changes
Diagnosing a Brain Tumor
Patients first come to Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics because either a doctor direct them to CNSO or because of their own concern about symptoms they are experiencing. The CNSO neurosurgeon will want to hear what the patient or their family members have been experiencing, then complete a mental and physical neurological exam. This allows them to ascertain the patient’s language and thought processes, mental clarity, and memory plus assess a patient’s hearing, vision, coordination, balance, and reflexes, all of which can be affected by the growth of a brain tumor or other neurological disorders of the brain, central or peripheral nervous system, the musculoskeletal system or a combination thereof.
If any diagnostic testing had already been done, it would be reviewed with the patient. If not, yet there is a concern, the neurosurgeon would order a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view the anatomic structures. Only then can it be confirmed whether there is a tumor or other abnormality. The image will provide the exact location, size, and extent of the brain tumor. CNSO neurosurgeons can also diagnose conditions other than a brain tumor. But if a patient were to have a brain tumor, it could be one of the 150 different brain tumor types. The most common types of brain tumors are:
- Acoustic neuroma tumors, a benign brain tumor that grows near the ear and effects balance and hearing
- Astrocytoma of the brain, a tumor that stems from excessive growth of glial brain cells
- Craniopharyngioma, a benign, low-grade brain tumor that grows near the pituitary gland near the base of the skull
- Glioblastoma multiforme, an invasive type of brain cancer stemming from the overproduction of malignant glial cells
- Pituitary tumors, an abnormal growth of the pituitary gland that can affect hormone production and regulation causing symptoms that are unique to this type of brain tumor. Most often pituitary tumors are benign pituitary adenoma. Seldom is there a pituitary carcinoma.
- Metastatic tumors, when the primary tumor is from another region of the body but it has traveled into the brain
Once the type of brain tumor is diagnosed, the highly trained neurosurgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics can begin to create a custom-tailored treatment plan.
Brain Tumor Treatment Options
Treating a brain tumor can consist of one or more treatment plans that will ultimately decrease or stop the production of tumor cells. If the brain tumor is small, a neurosurgeon can remove it through non-invasive surgical methods. If the tumor is too large, surgery may be combined with alternative treatment options to prevent any cancerous spread. The different types of brain tumor treatments consist of:
- Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery: This procedure technique utilizes an endoscope to visualize and remove tumors found near or in the pituitary gland of the brain. Via the nasal passage, and ENT doctor will provide access for a neurosurgeon to use an endoscope in conjunction with other tools for the precise removal of brain tumors near the base of the skull. This would include a pituitary tumor or a craniopharyngioma. By accessing the tumor from the nostril, there is no visible scare, less post-operative pain, fewer complications, and a shorter recovery period.
- Minimally invasive brain surgery: A brain surgery technique that removes tumors through small incisions using cylindrical instruments. A trained neurosurgeon can remove tumor growths via a small incision behind the ear or anywhere within the brain depending on the tumor location. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, there is less scarring, fewer complications, and quicker healing.
- Craniotomy: A method of surgery that involves removing a portion of the skull and creating a bone flap, allowing the surgeon direct visualization of the brain. Given the brain tumor location certain types of craniotomies are more beneficial to use compared to other access techniques. This method of surgery utilizes the best access angle to remove the tumor while avoiding sensitive structures surrounding the tumor.
- Endoscopic brain tumor surgery: A surgical technique that uses an endoscope to remove tumors through small incisions anywhere in the brain. It is especially beneficial for tumor deep in the brain including those at the base of the skull. This is a minimally invasive procedure which will result in little to no scarring hidden within the patient’s hairline.
- Proton therapy: This type of radiation therapy uses protons to slow down or treat cancer in the brain or nerves. Proton therapy is used either alone or alongside other methods of treatment like surgery or chemotherapy. The length and duration of the treatment sessions will vary depending on the severity of the brain tumor.
- Radiation: As the most common cancer treatment method, radiation therapy is used alone or beside other surgical and/or chemotherapeutic treatment plans. If a brain tumor continues to develop after surgical removal, radiation therapy can treat the growth of any remaining cancer cells.
- Linear accelerator: This is a type of technology that accurately administers radiation treatment directly to the affected area of the brain. Similar to radiation, this treatment method uses more focused radiation to treat cancerous abnormalities. Using a linear accelerator allows the radiation to hit the tumor directly eliminating it faster and not effecting the surrounding tissue. With a linear accelerator, the treatment therapy is significantly less time commitment than with other types of radiation treatment.
- Gamma knife surgery: The gamma knife is a technology surgeons use to target and treat brain abnormalities. This machine will exert gamma rays directly at the brain tumor to decrease or slow down growth. This method of treatment is typically ideal for small to medium-sized tumors.
- CyberKnife surgery: Very similar to Gamma knife surgery but more beneficial for certain types of brain tumors.
After thoroughly evaluating a patient’s medical condition and personal long-term goals, CNSO will determine the best course of treatment to return a patient back to their daily life.
Brain Care and Treatment at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics
A brain tumor and the need for brain surgery may seem overwhelming especially when patients don’t know who is the best qualified for their care. The highly skilled team of neurosurgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics will accurately diagnose any brain condition and provide compassionate treatment. CNSO will answer any questions, while diligently working to relieve any anxieties and worries. To learn more about brain tumors, brain surgery and other treatments, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics, in Northern NJ today.