The thought of undergoing brain surgery can be daunting for patients with brain tumors. Knowing that it is being performed at an outstanding brain tumor center led by surgeons with specialized training, an interest in the treatment of brain tumors (neuro-oncology) can be comforting to patients.
Surgeons at the University of North Carolina who perform brain tumor surgery have special expertise in the identification and removal of brain tumors. We use minimally invasive techniques including endoscopic reception, advanced localization with inter-operative surgical guidance and ultrasound and brain mapping to obtain the best possible outcomes for our patients while minimizing the risk of surgery within the brain.
There are multiple reasons to consider surgery for a patient with a brain tumor. First is to make a diagnosis of the tumor by obtaining tissue for pathology examination. The second is to reduce the size of the tumor and decrease the pressure that it is placing on area of the brain. A subset of brain tumors can be cured with surgical resection alone, and for those patients a team approach involving brain tumor neurosurgeons, pathologists and neuroradiologists is essential. Even for tumors which can’t be cured by surgery alone there is often a benefit to reducing the tumor to its smallest possible size prior to undertaking other surgical intervention.
At UNC our team strives to choose the correct surgical procedure be it by biopsy, endoscopic tumor removal, open surgery via craniotomy, or radiosurgery with the UNC CyberKnife. We try to match each patient with the best treatment option.
Post-operatively patients recover in the neuroscience ICU a dedicated ICU staffed by highly trained neuro-intensivists. In this setting management of patients in the immediate post-operative period is done more safely and with greater patient comfort.