Endoscopic Brain Surgery in New Jersey
Endoscopic brain surgery, or neuroendoscopy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure where a surgeon removes brain tumors through the mouth, nose, or small holes in the skull. Neuroendoscopy is used to access the brain areas with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue or skull. Endoscopic brain surgery enables doctors to successfully remove tumors and allows patients to recover more comfortly and quickly. The experienced neurourgeons of Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics are well-versed in performing these procedures.
Benefits of Endoscopic Brain Surgery
Endoscopic brain surgery offers several benefits to patients. It allows the surgeon to access difficult regions of the brain with less of an exposure area requirement. The neuroendoscopy itself retracts tissues thereby minimizing the tension on the surrounding tissue. Some of the common benefits associated with this procedure include:
- Minimally invasive resulting in less pain post-surgery
- Faster recovery time than open surgical procedures
- Less exposure to normal brain structure
- Reduced risk of brain trauma
- Reduced hospital stay (discharge from hospital is typically within 1 to 2 days post-surgery)
- Less need for pain relievers postoperatively
- Reduced risk of side effects
How is Endoscopic Brain Surgery Performed?
Endoscopy leverages a tube with lenses and a light source to look into the inner parts of the brain through a small hole. During the procedure, a neurosurgeon creates a surgical pathway to the skull via an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a small high-resolution fiber optic video camera attached to the end that transmits images to a screen. The surgical team performs the delicate procedure to extract the tumor and remove it through the patient’s nose. Ideally, the surgery is performed while looking at the screen with the actual target size magnified more than 100 times. After removing the tumor, the neurosurgeon then reconstruct neuro tissues and closes the skull opening.
Surgical time varies depending on the uniqueness of each condition. For a routine pituitary adenoma case, it takes two hours from the time general anesthesia is administered to skin closure. A more complex skull based tumor, however, can take four hours or more.
What Tumors Are Removed Through Endoscopic Brain Surgery?
Endoscopic surgical techniques are mainly used to remove benign brain tumors such as pituitary adenomas. However, more neurosurgeons are using the technique to remove other selected brain tumors as well. Some of the tumors that can be treated with this new surgical technique include:
- Pituitary tumors
- Arachnoid Cyst
- Olfactory Neuroblastoma (Esthesioneuroblastoma Olfactory)
- Pineal region tumors
- Craniopharyngiomas: this is a type of tumor derived from pituitary gland tissue
- Colloid Cyst
- Epidermoid Cyst
- Chordomas, a very rare, slow-growing malignant tumor at the base of the brain
- Spinal fluid leaks or rhinorrhea
- Metastatic brain tumors
Risks of Endoscopic Brain Surgery
Endoscopic brain surgery can be an outpatient basis, depending on the type of tumor and its location, because the technique is well tolerated by patients with a very low risk of complications. The risks of endoscopy depend on the specific area of the brain and the nature of disease or pathology that is to be extracted. However, compared to open surgery, these risks from retraction are less.
Although the likelihood of complications are rare, neurosurgeons from CNSO believe in strong patient-doctor communication. During the initial consultation, the neurosurgeon will ensure each patient understands the procedure and the risks involved. The most common side effect some patients report is a decrease in smell and taste for a few months after nasal endoscopic surgery. This is because of the swelling causing decrease airflow through the nasal passage.
The hospital stay after an endoscopic surgery depends on the specific brain tumor. However, most hospital stays last about 2 to 5 days. Immediately after the surgery, a patient is taken to the recovery room, where they wake up as the anesthesia starts wearing off. During the early hours and days post-surgery, patients may experience nausea, headaches, nasal congestion, and pain. However, these symptoms can be managed effectively via medication. Patients whose vital signs require closer monitoring may need to spend a night in the intensive care unit. Family members are allowed to visit once the recovery medical team is through with their initial post-surgical assessment.
During the hospital stay, patients are closely monitored by the neurosurgical team of physicians and nurses. Assessments and tests will be carried out daily while the patient recovers from their brain surgery. For example, if the surgery site is located near a pituitary gland, an endocrinologist will check the patient’s hormone levels and will prescribe hormone-replacement medications as needed. Additionally, imaging scans, including MRI and CT scans, will be performed during the first days after the surgery. Nurses typically assess changes in a patient’s vision, fluid intake, nasal discharge, and urine production. The doctors use these assessments to determine the progress of recovery.
Rehabilitation After the Surgery
Brain tumors and surgical procedures on the brain can impact a patient’s ability to speak and move as well as their behaviors and thoughts. Extra support may be needed to help them overcome any conditions they must overcome. Some of the standard therapies post endoscopic brain surgery includes:
- Physical therapy: Help patients walk and move safely before they are released from the hospital.
- Occupational therapy: Identify challenges with any daily activities so physical training can assist with necessary at-home adjustments that can be made.
- Speech and language therapy: Evaluate and resolve any communication, speech, or swallowing difficulties.
It usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to fully recover from brain surgery. The total amount of time required to recover varies depending on the location of the brain tumor, surrounding areas of the brain affected by the tumor and its removal, age of the patient, and any other medical conditions of the patients. Recovery time can be extended certain comorbidities, age, and if any complications require further treatment.
Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics Can Help
CNSO has multiple office locations in New Jersey and removes brain tumors using the latest technologies available for any type of brain tumor. Offering minimally invasive surgical procedures, the team of highly experienced neurosurgeons removes skull based brain tumors endoscopically, through the nares, to avoid large surgical incisions and scars. CNSO offers multiple convenient locations for treatment that spans several counties, including Bergen County, Passaic County, and Morris County. CNSO also has New Jersey offices in Jersey City, West Orange, and Hoboken. Contact us today to learn more about endoscopic brain surgery.