There are many kinds of brain tumours and they can arise from the nervous tissue in the brain , supporting cells or from the lining of the brain. Depending on their location and their biological characteristics, the tumours present in differing symptoms and examination findings. All patients need a thorough neurological examination and various tests which include imaging tests like CT scan, MRI scan and PER scan.
However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!. Therefore, most cases will require a bit of tissue to be examined under the microscope for testing. This will require surgery.
Surgery on the brain needs to be planned carefully as the operative strategies vary depending on various factors like the age of the patient, location of the tumour, condition of the patient. Surgery can be done by the open technique using the operating microscope and various other aids like the CUSA etc. Some tumours can be approached through the nose using an endoscope and some using keyhole technique with a stereotactic frame.
Once the surgical strategy has been defined, the patient is assessed for the fitness to undergo the procedure. After the surgery, close monitoring in an intensive care unit is a standard practice. At our unit tumours involving any location of the brain in both adults and children alike have been operated with minimum morbidity and mortality.
Following surgery, the biopsy report will let us know the type of tumour and its severity. Sometimes, surgery may be the only treatment,especially if the whole tumour has been removed successfully. In some situations, further treatment may be required like radiotherapy and chemotherapy.