Minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques for brain and skull-based tumors
Pediatric brain tumors come in many forms and are significantly different from adult brain tumors. They exhibit their own unique behaviors and degrees of malignancy, and they often reside in areas of the brain different from those of adults. Because the nervous system grows rapidly during a child’s early years, a treatment approach must be selected very carefully in order to avoid injuring healthy, growing cells or causing functional loss.
When it comes to brain and skull-based tumors, Cohen Children’s offers patients the most advanced and diversified treatments, services and technologies, as well as a highly functioning, multidisciplinary tumor board. Consisting of neurosurgeons, neurologists, hematologists, oncologists, radiologists, endocrinologists and ophthalmologists, the board meets each week to review new and existing brain tumor patients. Each person brings their unique area of expertise to the interactive discussion, helping the group decide on a preliminary approach to treatment. We assist patients from the region as well as all over the country and the world, using remote consultations. We have a great relationship with other practitioners in the region, so if another opinion is needed, we reach out to our colleagues at another center, and vice versa.
We are experts at minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques, which generally lead to faster recovery times and less discomfort.
If a patient has a large tumor, open surgery may be required. For other cases, however, there is a variety of minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques that may be used, including:
- Leading-edge surgical procedures that avoid damage to critical areas. This includes awake craniotomy, operating through the nose, and operating through a dilated tube placed in the brain (called brain path technology)
- LITT (Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy): Pioneering the minimally invasive treatment of brain tumors with lasers that are inserted through the smallest possible incisions with the highest accuracy
- Unique intra-operative imaging that guides surgery and ensures superior precision
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery that delivers a targeted, spherical volume (a ball) of radiation to targets the tumor from different angles. Size can be adjusted by the doctor to fit the shape of the tumor
There are a vast multitude of approaches available, and your doctor will work with you to identify the most effective one(s), based on your specific case.
Reasons for treatment
The reason for treatment is a brain or skull-based tumor, which is an abnormal growth of tissue within or around the brain.
What to expect after treatment
In general, minimally invasive approaches lead to faster recoveries and less discomfort. Depending on the procedure, some patients go home the day of their treatment and some stay up to three days, or longer for a more complicated procedure.