Brain tumour treated with minimal invasive surgery

By Madhulika Sonkar, IANS
Thursday, February 10, 2011

NEW DELHI - Deweshwar Kumar, 77, had lost all hope after a sudden loss of consciousness was attributed to a large blood clot in his brain. Chances of survival were low and his condition deteriorated. But his life was saved thanks to minimal invasive neuroendoscopy.

“The blood clot caused a pressure effect in the patient’s brain. Considering the history of stroke and liver diseases, a major surgery could have been detrimental,” said Asha Bakshi, consultant neurosurgeon at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in Delhi where the patient was operated upon last month.

“So we decided to go for a skull-based surgery called neuroendoscopy. A small incision in the head was made to evacuate the clot, quite similar to laproscopic surgery,” Bakshi told IANS.

The two-decade-old technique is proving to be useful for patients with intracerebral blood clots, including tumours, because of its minimal invasive nature, experts say.

For instance, Kumar (name changed) began showing improvement within 24 hours of the surgery and was home within two days of the operation last month. The half-an-hour-long surgery, involving a neuroendoscope, cleared the blood clot in the brain using local anesthesia.

“We chose a local anesthesia over a general anesthesia because the patient was in a critical condition due to which a total state of unconsciousness could have been fatal,” Bakshi explained.

“A small incision in the head was made so that we didn’t have to shave off the entire head,” he added.

Sandeep Vaishya, head of neurosurgery department at Max Superspeciality Hospital in Saket, said: “For skull-based tumours of specific types, neuroendoscopy is very useful.”

“The technique reduces the size of the incision in the head, apart from giving a three-dimensional image of the tumour in the skull,” Vaishha told IANS.

“The technique is popular in metropolitan cities and tertiary care centres, but we still need to upgrade the equipment, availability and awareness,” added Vaishya, also the ex-additional professor of neurology at the the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The cost of the surgery is equal to the traditional method of neurosurgery, around Rs.30,000-40,000, the doctors said.

“The patient recuperates faster with reduction in hospital stay. It usually takes 4-5 days after neuroendoscopy,” Bakshi said.

The technique is saving lives of patients with intra-celebral blood clots that result to strokes, the experts said.

“High blood pressure, smoking, lack of physical exercise and old age add to the pressure-effect on the brain and nerves. This leads to collection of fluids in the brain, tumours or clots that can be treated with neuroendoscopy,” Vaishya said.

(Madhulika Sonkar can be contacted at

Filed under: Blood Pressure, Medicine

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