Tumors can develop anywhere, including on your brain or spinal cord. You may need surgery to determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant. You may also need surgery to remove the tumor itself. At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we offer spine surgery and neurosurgery for tumor diagnostic and removal purposes.
Your surgeon may use a stereotactic biopsy, which uses a CT or MRI to assess the location and size of the tumor. In some cases, your surgeon may drill a tiny hole through your skull. Your surgeon will then insert a specialized needled into the hole to obtain a sample of the tumor. In most cases, your surgeon will perform a biopsy by performing a craniotomy – a procedure that involves your surgeon removing a portion of your skull bone to give access to the tumor.
Spinal Cord Tumor Biopsy
If you need to have a spinal cord tumor biopsy, your surgeon will use a CT scan to view the inside of your spinal cord. The surgeon will use the CT scan as a map to guide the needle to the tumor. Your surgeon will then obtain tissue or fluid to examine.
Brain Tumor Removal Surgery
Your surgeon may perform brain tumor removal surgery if you have one on your brain. Before this is done, however, a determination on whether this type of procedure is right for you needs to be made.
Determining if You Qualify
Before your practitioner suggests surgery, your imaging results will be analyzed thoroughly to ensure the surgeon may remove the tumor safely without damaging any vital portions of the brain.
Craniotomy and Tumor Removal
If surgery is right for you, your surgeon will perform a craniotomy to gain access to the location of the tumor in most cases. Once accessible, your surgeon will either use a specialized pair of surgical scissors or a scalpel to remove it. In other cases, your surgeon may use an ultrasonic aspirator to break up the tumor and suction it. If a tumor is soft, your surgeon may use a suction device to remove it without the use of an aspirator.
Typically, throughout this surgery, your practitioner will use MRIs taken at certain times during the procedure, previous imaging, cortical mapping, or fluorescence-guided surgery for precision purposes. With cortical mapping, your surgeon sends electrical stimuli to your brain around and at the site of the tumor. Your surgeon monitors the response and avoids any areas that execute vital functions.
Your surgeon may use fluorescence-guided surgery for certain types of tumors like glioblastomas. With this type of imaging, you’ll receive a fluorescent dye that the tumor will take in. The tumor then glows, so your surgeon may distinguish the tumor from other parts of your brain.
Spinal Cord Tumor Removal Surgery
Your neurosurgeon will use imaging to determine if it’s possible to remove the tumor with surgery safely, which means evaluating if the tumor is a safe distance from nerves and spinal cord.
With this surgery, your surgeon may use a high-powered magnifying device. Throughout the surgery, your surgeon may also monitor spinal cord function to optimize the safety of the procedure.
Sometimes, sound waves are directed toward the tumor to break it up. In other cases, your surgeon will remove the tumor manually without separating it into fragments. The tumor isn’t always fully removed after surgery, although your surgeon strives to remove as much as possible safely.
Choose Our Lone Tree, CO Neurosurgeons for Brain and Spinal Cord Surgeries
Our surgeons are unique in the sense that they have a great deal of experience and education. Our surgeons realize the concerns that patients have about these types of surgeries and take every step necessary to calm you while still providing an adequate amount of education. In addition, our surgeons keep up with the latest techniques to offer you the most up-to-date approaches for tumor removal.
If you received the news that you have a tumor on your brain or spinal cord, contact our office today. Front Spine and Neurosurgery, serving Lone Tree and the surrounding Colorado area, is available by calling 303-790-1800 or using our online appointment request form.