Want to understand more about pediatric brain surgery for treating tumors? When a child is diagnosed with a brain tumor, they may require surgery to treat the tumor. Pediatric neurosurgeons are part of a neurotrauma team of medical professionals.
About pediatric brain surgery
Sometimes, pediatric brain surgery is necessary for children who have been diagnosed with a tumor. According to the Mayo Clinic, pediatric brain tumors are abnormal masses or growths that occur in a child’s brain or the tissue and structures near it. Tumors can be non-cancerous or cancerous, and there are many different types. When it comes to treating brain tumors in children, it depends on many different factors, including the type of tumor, the location of the tumor, how large the tumor is, if the tumor has spread, the age of the child and the child’s overall health.
Common types of brain surgery for children
The list below includes three commonly used surgical processes to treat children who have a brain tumor.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove a small sample of a child’s tissue in order to understand more about the tumor, a.k.a. a biopsy. In order to access this tissue sample, it is necessary for a pediatric neurosurgeon to drill a small hole into the child's skull. They will then insert a thin needle through the hole in order to remove the sample. Once the sample is obtained, it is sent to a laboratory for a complete analysis. This analysis will include the type of tumor cells, as well as how aggressive the tumor is.
A pediatric neurosurgeon will determine if a child is in need of surgery in order to remove the tumor. While removing all of the tumor is ideal, sometimes only part of the tumor can be removed safely. Some surgical cases are easier than others, as sometimes it is a straightforward process to separate the tumor from the nearby brain tissue. For tumors that cannot be separated, the neurosurgeon will remove as much as the tumor as they can without creating any serious risks to the child.
Radiosurgery is a type of surgery that uses many different beams of radiation in order to kill the tumor's cells. These beams all work together in order to give the tumor a large dose of radiation, as this kills the cells. While the term "radiosurgery" includes the word "surgery," this particular type of surgical process only delivers doses of radiation vs. actually performing any surgical incisions. When it is determined that a child is in need of this type of surgery, they often only need to undergo one treatment.
Learning more about what pediatric brain surgery may involve is necessary for parents who have a child in need of brain tumor treatment. Deciding which surgical option is the right option depends on an individual child’s particular situation.
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