- Treatment depends on the type and site of the tumor and the condition of the patient. Surgery is the principal treatment for most primary brain tumors.
- With advances in imaging, earlier diagnosis, drugs to decrease brain swelling, sophisticated planning, preoperative and anesthetic management, special microscopes and surgical instruments, it is possible to remove significant amounts of tumor with relative safety.
- Modern surgical instruments ensure maximum tumor removal with minimal disruption of normal brain tissue. This includes the ultrasonic aspirator, which disrupts the tumor by ultrasound and then removes it by suction. Specialized laser instruments also have become useful.
- Surgery has a number of roles, including attempts at curative resection (removal of tissue), gross total resection, incomplete or subtotal resection, or simple biopsy. There are also procedures to relieve pressure, such as placing shunts within the fluid cavities of the brain.
- Some tumors, especially those that are histologically benign, can be cured by complete removal. These may include neurofibromas, meningiomas, acoustic schwannomas and low-grade astrocytomas.
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