A brain tumor is defined as an abnormal growth of cells within the brain or the skull vault. Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium. They are created by an abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, usually in the brain itself, but also sometimes in lymphatic tissue, in blood vessels, in the cranial nerves, in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary gland, or pineal gland and from congenital vest cells.
Brain tumors are classified depending on:
- The location of the tumor
- The type of tissue involved
- Whether they are noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant)
- Other factors
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of brain tumor depend on tumor’s size, location, its spread, and whether there is swelling. The most common symptoms are:
- Changes in person’s mental function
- Weakness in one part of the body
- Seizures (especially in older adults)
- Vision problems
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
- Difficulty writing or reading
- Personality, mood, behavior, or emotional changes
The cause of primary brain tumors is still unknown. There are many possible risk factors including:
- Radiation therapy to the brain, used to treat brain cancers, increases the risk for brain tumors up to 20 or 30 years afterwards
- Some inherited conditions increase the risk of brain tumors, including ineurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome
- Lymphomas that begin in the brain in people with a weakened immune system are sometimes linked to the Epstein-Barr virus
When a brain tumor is diagnosed, a team is formed to assess the treatment options which is presented to the patient and his/her family. Given the location, stage, and type of the growth, these are the various types of treatment options that are either used in isolation or as a combination procedure.
Complete or partial resection of the tumor/growth/clot. Besides removing the tumour, surgery is also done for the following neurological disorders:
- Spinal tumours
- Vascular malformations
- Spine injuries
- Vascular occlusions
- Infections of the spine
- Brachial plexus
- Diseases of the peripheral nerve
- Pain syndromes (chronic ischemia of brain pain or intractable pain)
- Degenerative diseases of spine and disc problems
- Parkinson's Disease
In times when disease and conditions spread and overlap beyond specific disciplines, our endeavor is to provide you with comprehensive and complete care under one roof. Therefore, one can get access to the following surgical techniques at Max Institute of Neurosciences.
Our Brain Surgery Program offers you comprehensive evaluation, neurodiagnostic and treatment services. Our care includes:
- Brain Tumor surgery
- Neurovascular surgery
- Stereotactic and functional neurosurgery - Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease, Dystonias, and Tremors
- Radio surgery
Our Spine Surgery Care Program includes:
- Endoscopic Discectomy
- MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery)
- Disc replacement surgery
- Interventional MR surgery
- Surgeries for relief of pain
- Spinal cord stimulation (for failed back surgery, complex pain, CPRS Type II, Peripheral Vascular Disease, Phantom Limb Pain)
- Programmable Drug Infusion Pumps
- Baclofen for Spasticity
- Opioid for pain
- Medication for Cranio Spinal Malignancy
Our Paediatric Neurosurgery Care Program includes:
- Epilepsy Surgery
- Shunt Surgery
- Brachial Plexus Surgery
- Congenital malformation of spine
Endovascular Neurosurgery is performed for the following conditions:
- Intracranial Aneurysms - Aneurysms are focal swelling of blood vessels, which can burst and cause bleeding in the brain. Endovascular coiling can treat these aneurysms, thus avoiding open surgery.
- Angioplasty or Stent Placement - This procedure is done to treat stenosis in arteries of brain (including carotid, vertebral, intracranial arteries). Many cases of stroke occur due to stenosis (narrowing) in arteries leading to the brain. They can be treated non-invasively by endovascular route with an angioplasty or stenting procedure.
- Stroke or Brain Attack, including intra-arterial thrombolysis - Acute stroke or brain attack usually occurs due to blockage of arteries of the brain. Appropriate patients can be treated by placing a micro catheter at the site of blockage followed by administration of thrombolytic drugs, which dissolve the blocking material.
- Arteriovenous Malformation - Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the brain are malformed blood vessels, which can cause intracranial bleeding (bleeding in brain), seizures and headache. AVMs can be treated by injecting "glue" through a microcatheter placed precisely into these abnormal blood vessels.
- Tumour Embolisation - One of the major problems in surgical removal of intracranial tumour is bleeding during the surgery. Interventional neuroradiologist can help the surgeon by pre-operative endovascular occlusion of the blood vessels supplying the tumour. This will reduce the bleeding and facilitate the surgery.
- Cerebral or Spinal Angiography - DSA (digital subtraction angiography) is considered as the 'gold standard' investigation to diagnose diseases of blood vessels.
- Vertebroplasty (Minimally invasive spine procedure )- With age bones become weak and collapse of bones in the spine (vertebrae) is one of the major causes of severe back pain in the elderly. Vertebroplasty is a revolutionary treatment in which "bone cement" is injected through a needle placed into the broken bone so as to stabilize the vertebra and to reduce the pain.
- Percutaneous Sclerotherapy - Many superficial vascular malformations such as haemangioma (malformation of blood vessels) or lymphangiomas (malformation of lymphs) can be treated by puncturing through a needle, followed by injection of "sclerosant material" which causes obliteration of the malformation.
The most commonly used treatment for brain tumors where the tumor is irradiated with beta, x rays or gamma rays.