When surgery is required for the treatment of brain tumors?

Surgery is one of the primary treatment options for brain tumors, and it is often performed when the tumor can be safely accessed and removed without causing significant damage to critical brain structures. The timing of the surgery and the approach used can vary depending on factors such as the type of tumor, its location, size, and grade, as well as the patient’s overall health and medical history.

Surgery for brain tumor treatment can be performed in the following scenarios:

  • Resectable Tumors: When a brain tumor is located in an area of the brain that can be accessed without causing severe neurological deficits, surgery is typically the first-line treatment. Resectable tumors are those that can be completely removed, or at least a significant portion can be removed, during surgery.
  • Debulking: In some cases, the tumor may be too large or located in a critical area of the brain, making complete removal risky. In such instances, the surgeon may perform a debulking surgery, where they remove as much of the tumor as safely possible to reduce its size and relieve symptoms.
  • Biopsy: In certain situations, a brain tumor may be deep-seated or located in a sensitive area, making complete removal challenging. In these cases, a biopsy may be performed to obtain a small sample of the tumor tissue for examination and diagnosis.
  • Emergency Surgery: In cases where a brain tumor causes sudden and severe symptoms, such as a brain hemorrhage or rapid neurological deterioration, emergency surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the brain.
  • Recurrent Tumors: If a brain tumor recurs after previous treatments, surgery may be considered again if it is feasible and may offer potential benefits.

Before surgery, the patient will undergo thorough evaluations, including imaging studies like MRI or CT scans, to assess the tumor’s characteristics and its relationship with surrounding brain structures. This information helps the surgical team plan the procedure and understand potential risks.

During surgery, various techniques may be used to minimize damage to healthy brain tissue while attempting to remove the tumor. These techniques include awake brain surgery, neuronavigation systems, and intraoperative imaging.

It’s crucial to remember that brain tumor surgery is a complex procedure and carries inherent risks. Potential complications may include infection, bleeding, neurological deficits, or other issues related to brain function. The decision to undergo surgery and the specific approach used will be carefully discussed between the patient, their family, and the medical team to ensure the best possible outcome.