Over 700,000 people are living with brain tumors in the US alone, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. There are over 120 different types of primary brain tumors and central nervous system tumors. Some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant), while others are non-cancerous (benign). Because benign tumors can still affect brain function, they may require treatment.
At Link Neuroscience Institute, our multidisciplinary neurosurgery team is equipped with the latest technologies — including endoscopic surgery — to treat brain tumors here in Ventura and Santa Barbara, California.
Below, our team discusses what endoscopic brain surgery is, how to use it in brain tumor treatment, and what risks and benefits patients should consider.
What is endoscopic surgery?
An endoscopy is a procedure that enables surgeons to operate on internal organs without large incisions. Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive and rely on a thin tube with a special camera to relay real-time video images of internal organs. Specialized instruments are inserted through the tube (catheter) to perform specific procedures.
Endoscopic procedures can be used to diagnose and treat conditions. You can receive endoscopic procedures to treat arthritis, perform a hysterectomy, or remove polyps during a colonoscopy. We use endoscopic procedures at Link Neuroscience Institute to treat brain tumors.
How endoscopic surgery treats brain tumors
Endoscopic brain surgery is a minimally invasive brain surgery that allows our team to:
- Identify conditions deep in the brain through the tubing (endoscope) that transmits videos of your brain
- Treat (in this case, remove) brain tumors through the use of specialized instruments and tools inserted through the tubing
Because endoscopic surgery doesn’t involve large incisions, the recovery tends to be less painful and faster than traditional open surgery. Other benefits of endoscopic surgery include less bleeding during the surgery and fewer complications due to increased surgical maneuverability.
When endoscopic brain tumor surgery might be right for you
Endoscopic surgery has many benefits, but it’s not always the right treatment for everyone. Many factors are at play when determining the proper treatment for a brain tumor. These include:
- The type and number of tumors you have
- If the tumor is a primary tumor or metastasized to your brain
- The severity of your symptoms
- The tumor location
For example, our team may consider endoscopic brain tumor surgery for a pituitary adenoma located at your skull’s base. In this case, we may insert the endoscope through your nose to reach the tumor.
Brain surgery can help alleviate the troublesome symptoms of brain tumors, such as headaches, vision loss, difficulty with balance, confusion, seizures, and nausea. Any surgery may come with risks, but if your tumor affects brain function, the surgical benefits may outweigh the potential risks.
In other words, endoscopic brain tumor surgery might be right for you if your tumor is accessible endoscopically and if the benefits of surgery outweigh the potential risks. Before recommending endoscopic brain tumor surgery, our team first conducts a thorough examination, reviews your symptoms and medical history, and reviews any diagnostic images. Your treatment plan may include a combination of treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call the location of your choice. You can also use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment.