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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Surgical procedures for brain cancer

Depending on the type and grade of the tumor, the following are some brain cancer surgeries our doctors perform:

  • Craniotomy: Using specialized tools, we first remove a piece of bone from the skull for access to the tumor. Then, we remove all or most of the tumor. After surgery, the bone is usually replaced. In a craniectomy, the bone is replaced later (or not replaced at all) for various reasons, like if swelling is expected after surgery.
  • Endonasal Endoscopy: We use an endoscope to navigate and access tumors through the nose and sinuses. Using image guidance and special instruments attached to the endoscope, this type of brain cancer surgery allows us to then remove tumors or take samples for biopsy.
  • Neuroendoscopy: Through a small opening in the skull, we use an endoscope to see inside the brain. We can then remove tumors or take biopsy samples using special instruments attached to the endoscope.

Other Procedures

  • Shunt: We place a thin tube (called a shunt) into a ventricle of the brain, through a small hole in the skull. The shunt moves excess fluid from the brain to another part of the body, such as the abdominal cavity, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. A filter catches stray tumor cells that may be in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). This procedure can help relieve pressure in the skull.
  • Placement of an Ommaya Reservoir: During this brain cancer surgery, we implant a small reservoir attached to a tube under the scalp. The tubing leads into a ventricle of the brain where the CSF circulates, allowing us to deliver chemotherapy to the brain and CSF, or to remove fluid for biopsy. The reservoir can be removed when it’s no longer needed.
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