Life After Brain Tumor SurgeryLife After Brain Tumor Surgery

A brain tumor is a collection, or mass, of abnormal cells in the brain. The growth of normal cells in the brain multiplies in an abnormal, uncontrollable way. A brain tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Skull which encloses the brain is very rigid and any growth inside such restricted space can cause various problems. When the tumors grow inside the skull it can cause pressure inside the skull to increase which can damage the brain and lead to life-threatening problems.

Symptoms of Brain Tumour

The symptoms of a brain tumour vary from patient to patient depending on the exact part of the brain which is affected. Following are some of the common symptoms of brain tumor:-

  • Severe or persistent headaches.
  • Persistent nausea
  • Speech problems.
  • Altered perception of touch or pressure.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Sluggishness.
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
  • Vomiting.
  • Mental or behavioral changes.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Facial weakness.
  • Vision problems.

Treatment for Brain Tumor

There are different options to treat brain tumor such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, radiosurgery and targeted drug therapy. The type of treatment option for a brain tumor depends on the type of tumor, the size of tumor and location of the tumor, as well as overall health of the patient. Surgery is usually the common treatment option for a brain tumor. Brain tumor surgery can be combined with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or radiosurgery.

To remove brain tumor surgeons uses craniotomy approach where the neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull. While performing the surgery the Surgeon tries to remove the entire tumor in case if the tumor cannot be removed completely surgeon tries to remove as much as tumor possible without disturbing the vital brain tissue.

Partial removal of brain tumor helps in relieving the patient from the symptoms which are caused by brain tumor as it reduces the pressure and amount of brain tumor on the brain which can be treated with the help of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. In case if the tumor cannot be removed the surgeons may only perform a biopsy. In a biopsy, a small piece of brain tumor is removed and examine under a microscope to determine the type of cells it contains. A biopsy helps the doctor decide which treatment option is best suitable for the patient.

Various other advanced techniques are used during the surgery which includes endoscopy to perform biopsies, brain mapping to find functional pathways near tumors, open spinal fluid pathways through a small scope and advanced frameless stereotaxic computer assisted tumor resections. Intraoperative MRI technique is also available to maximize the tumor removal.

Life after Brain Tumor

First few days and weeks after the surgery the patient may feel worse which can be very depressing. Brain surgery is a lot for the body to cope up with. The patient may experience swelling in the brain after the surgery which means it may take a while before the patient could get benefited from the removal of the tumor.

After Effects

After brain surgery, it is common to have dizzy spells or get confused in daily matters. The swelling after the surgery can also lead to:-

  • Poor balance.
  • Speech problems.
  • Fits (seizures).
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Personality changes
  • Weakness.

These symptoms usually lessen or disappear as the patient recovers. Recovery period varies from person to person which can take days, weeks or months. With time patients will get back to their usual daily activity. Due to the position of their tumour some people may experience long-term problems with speech or with weakness in the arm or leg which can take a long time to recover from. Rehabilitation start as soon as the patient is out of bed. Patients are advised to attend sessions with physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and other rehabilitation specialists for complete recovery.

 

by Kimmie Rollison
References and Bibliography
The brain tumor surgery success rate in India is very high. Patients from different countries come to India and avail the medical facilities at affordable costs. Brain tumor surgery cost in India is very less if compared to any western country.
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