Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery in Northern New Jersey
The neurosurgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics (CNSO) regularly diagnose brain disorders and if necessary, offer surgical treatment options for patients across Northern New Jersey. Patients with certain brain tumors and other conditions are candidates for minimally invasive brain surgery.
Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery versus Endoscopic Brain Surgery
Using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art minimally invasive equipment, neurosurgeons can access the affected area of the brain through small incisions under direct visualization. During a MIS procedure, surgeons use small and narrow surgical tools designed for meticulous precision. Different from MIS is endoscopic surgery which utilizes an endoscopic camera to see deep into the brain tissue. This slim, high-resolution camera displays on a monitor, the affected area, allowing the neurosurgeon to work through a smaller incision yet clear visualization.
In certain cases, tumors are accessible through the body’s natural orifices which allow no externally visible scar. One example would be . This minimally invasive surgical technique is performed via a nostril. Using an endoscopic camera, tumors near the base of the skull can be removed. A specific example would be endoscopic pituitary surgery, which is endoscopic transsphenoidal technique to access the pituitary gland. If a pituitary tumor is not responding to medical treatment or becomes too large causing symptomatic compression on the surrounding structrues, a CNSO neurosurgeon can endoscopically remove the tumor through the patient’s nose while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia.
Depending on the type, location, and size of the tumor, surgeons can achieve either partial or total removal of a number of types of brain tumors using minimally invasive techniques at most of the top Northern New Jersey Hospitals. With CNSO, patients have a choice as to which hospital in New Jersey they can receive their treatment.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery
MIS state-of-the-art technology is used by CNSO neurosurgeons to limit the size and number of incisions made. Minimally invasive brain surgery not only reduces the amount of scarring but also minimizes blood loss, surrounding tissue trauma, and the amount of skull bone needed to be removed and then reattached after the tumor is removed. A smaller scalp incision also minimizes the surgical impact on the patient’s hairline. Depending on the patient, other potential advantages include:
- Faster recovery times
- Shorter hospital stays
- Less discomfort during recovery
- Lowered risk of complications and side effects
In some cases, patients may be able to return home within 24 to 48 hours after their operation and experience less pain during recovery than with open surgery (craniotomy). Treatment options, post-op care, and recovery time are highly dependent on the location and severity of the condition, as well as the patient’s age, health, and other contributing factors.
The neurosurgeons at CNSO perform minimally invasive techniques whenever possible as an alternative to open surgery. Before recommending any invasive approach, a thorough examination of the condition and overall health of the patient is conducted, making every effort to treat utilizing non-invasive or least invasive techniques.
The neurosurgeons at CNSO has the expertise to treat brain tumors using minimally invasive techniques. When diagnosed with a brain tumor or cyst, surgeons typically choose the course of care that minimizes the risks of surgery. Alongside medications, radiation therapies and other treatments, surgeons use minimally invasive brain surgery to eliminate cancerous and noncancerous conditions, including:
- Brain cysts
- Brain tumors
- Parkinson’s disease
Physicians monitor patients through follow-up appointments after completing minimally invasive brain surgery. Here, they look for signs of returning abnormal brain mass using imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or X-rays. If a patient is not experiencing symptoms and the tumor has not re-grown, surgery is considered successful. However, some tumor cells may remain present or continue to grow even after complete surgical removal. In this case, patients may need an additional surgery later in life. This is why monitoring occasionally is very important.
Other Types of Surgery that Technically are not MIS but Utilize Different Technology
Other types of brain surgery techniques that minimize scarring but not not technically considered MIS surgery include:
Gamma Knife Surgery
A Gamma Knife is a namebrand for a type of radiation surgical treatment. Gamma Knife surgery does not have an incision made to reach the affected area. Instead, surgeons aim gamma rays at the tumor or affected area in order to eliminate the brain mass growth. Gamma knife surgery is a form of radiation therapy that destroys cancerous and noncancerous brain masses. However, it differs from radiation therapy because it uses advanced technology to deliver radiation to a more isolated area of the brain.
While radiation therapy targets a larger portion of the body, gamma knife surgery only affects the small portion that needs radiation therapy. Because of this, it can avoid damage to other important structures of the brain that surround the mass.
Traditional craniotomies typically require complete removal of the bone flap, which is a portion of the skull. However, surgeons can complete an endoscopic craniotomy through a small incision in the skull. During the procedure, surgeons insert an endoscope through a very small skull opening. Using the endoscope alongside additional tools, surgeons can remove the affected area of the brain. In addition, this method of surgery can work to drain small brain cysts, such as:
- Arachnoid cysts
- Dermoid cysts
- Epidermoid cysts
- Colloid cysts
- Pineal cysts
By looking at the type of tumor, size, and location, plus the patient’s medical history, neurosurgeons determine which treatment method is best for each patient. The team at CNSO works diligently and collaboratively with patients to decide a course of treatment that provides the patient with maximum benefits.
Seek Advanced Neurological Care at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics
The CNSO medical team is well trained in diagnosing and performing surgical techniques that effectively treat a wide range of brain and spine conditions. The CNSO streamline treatment is based on evidence based medicine, and the patient’s medical history plus current and future needs. CNSO neurosurgeons privileges at each of the top, award-winning hospitals in Northern NJ that are equipped with MIS technology. With a patient-centered focus, the team at CNSO is comprised of:
- Physical therapists
- Pain management physicians
- Physical Medical and rehabilitation physicians
- Orthopedic spine surgeons
- Advanced Nurse Practioners with ICU neurological expertise
CNSO offers patients a wide range of treatment options at each office location in Northern New Jersey. To discuss minimally invasive brain surgery as a possible treatment technique, schedule an appointment today.