Brain surgery may be necessary for patients with a range of neurological ailments. Two of the most common reasons patients require brain surgery are brain tumors and brain trauma.
Brain trauma generally occurs when an outside force causes damage to the brain. Car accidents, falls, and other injuries that affect the head are common causes of brain trauma.
When a brain has suffered a traumatic injury, surgery may be required to repair damage, alleviate swelling of the brain or pressure on the skull, and so on.
Advances in medical technology — such as stereotactic radiosurgery or cyberknife radiosurgery— mean that more and more brain tumors can be treated without surgery. But for some patients, traditional surgery is their best option.
After the brain cancer treatment plan is developed, the patient will return to the CyberKnife Center for treatment. The doctors may choose to deliver the treatment in one session, or stage it over several days. Typically, brain cancer treatments are completed within five days. For most patients, the CyberKnife treatment is a completely pain-free experience. Patients dress comfortably in their own clothes and, depending on the treatment center, they may be allowed to bring music to listen to during the treatment. Patients also may want to bring something to read while they wait, and have a friend or family member with them to provide support before and after treatment.
When it is time for treatment, the patient lies on the table while their custom-fitted face mask is secured into place. The CyberKnife System’s computer-controlled robot will move around the patient’s body to the various locations from which it will deliver radiation to the tumor. Nothing will be required of the patient during the treatment, except to relax and lie as still as possible. Learn more about CyberKnife Radiosurgery Treatment.
At the MultiCare Neuroscience Center of Washington, we offer complete care for brain tumors, including the latest in Image-Guided Surgery techniques. MultiCare was the first in the Puget Sound region to pioneer frameless stereotactic-guided brain surgery — a technique that allows skilled neurosurgeons to navigate through the brain with unparalleled precision.
Guided by 3-D computer imaging technology, our teams of radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons can locate and lock on to brain tumors as they operate, reducing the potential for injury to normal brain tissue. As a result, we've been able to reach and remove many tumors that used to be considered inoperable.
Twice a month our Neuro Oncology Multidisciplinary Tumor Board meet to discuss the very best approaches to tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, neuro radiologists, pathologists, nursing and rehabilitation teams collaborate on treatments with a focus on preservation of function and optimal outcomes for patients.