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Last Updated: Sep 05, 2019
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Brain Tumor Surgery: Procedure, Recovery, Cost, Risk & Complication

What is Brain Tumor Surgery? Indication What Procedure is followed : Risk & Complication More Info

What is Brain Tumor Surgery?

A brain tumor surgery is often the primary treatment suggested by doctors for removing tumors from the brain without causing any serious damage. Non-cancerous tumors are mostly treated with a brain tumor surgery. There are different types of surgeries that can be performed for treating a brain tumor. It depends on the condition of the patient. The most common form of procedure for removing a brain tumor is craniotomy. In this process, a piece of bone is removed for exposing the area of the brain over your tumor. The outermost layer of your brain tissue will then be opened; the tumor will be located and then removed. The bone will be replaced after that and the scalp is stitched back.


A brain tumor surgery may be required in the following circumstances:

  • To get a sample of the tumor for an accurate and detailed diagnosis
  • Generic treatment for tumors those are benign
  • For removing the tumor as much as possible, for reliving you from the symptoms that are caused by it or for limiting the amount of radiation and chemotherapy that you have to take for treatment
  • For reliving seizures that are caused by a tumor in the brain, which is eventually getting harder to control

What Procedure is followed :

Pre Procedure

There are certain pre-procedure guidelines that need to be followed before undergoing a brain tumor surgery:

  • First and foremost, your doctor will examine your condition and decide on the type of surgery that you need for the tumor. The procedure will also be explained to you and you can clear your doubts, if any with your doctor.
  • As it is a major surgery, it is important to have a positive state of mind prior to the operation. Make sure that you get adequate rest, do not stress yourself and maintain a nutritious diet. It is also advised to avoid smoking and drinking.
  • You may have to stop blood thinning medications prior to the surgery. Consult your doctor regarding this matter and follow the instructions given.
  • A portion of the hair may have to be shaved before the surgery. It is recommended to shampoo your hair the previous day and avoid using a hair gel or spray.

During Procedure

There are several procedures that your surgeon can use for a brain tumor surgery, depending on your condition:

  • Craniotomy- Also known as open brain surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the scalp, creating a hole called the bone flap in your skull. The incision and the hole will be made near the area of the brain that requires treatment. If the tumor is located near the areas that control your vision, speech and movement, this procedure of open brain surgery is used while you are awake. This allows the surgeon to ask questions and monitor your brain activity.
  • Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery- In this procedure, the surgeon removes the tumors through your nose and sinuses. There are no incisions made, an endoscope is used for this purpose. This procedure is mainly used for treating tumors in the pituitary glands, ones at the base of your skull and tumors that grow in the bottom portion of the brain.
  • Minimally invasive neuroendoscopy- Small, dime-sized holes are made in the skull to get access to the tumor-affected parts of the brain. Endoscopes are used in this procedure too, for removing the brain tumors.

Post Procedure

Once the surgery is performed; you will be shifted to the ICU where your vital signs will be closely monitored. An MRI will be conducted shortly after the procedure to make sure the tumor has been removed completely. Initially, you are laid down in a raised position to prevent your face and brain from swelling. You may have to stay in the hospital for a week or more. It depends on how well you recover from the surgery. After the surgery, you have to come for follow-up appointments in three months. Several tests will be conducted to analyse the progress of your recovery. Often, there are therapists to help you perform your daily activities like walking or dressing up and help you regain your strength and balance.

Risk & Complication

A brain tumor surgery is a major operation and may have the following risks or complications:

  • An allergic reaction to the anaesthesia that is administered
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Formation of blood clots
  • Swelling in the brain or accumulation of excessive fluid in the brain
  • Meningitis, an inflammation of your brain and spinal cord membranes, generally caused due to an infection
  • Leaking of spinal fluid
  • Impaired vision, speech, balance or coordination
  • Infection at the site of the wound or in the brain
  • Problems with memory
  • Seizures or stroke

More Info

Most of the tumor will be removed from your brain post a surgery, but there are chances of a few portions of it to still remain in the brain. You may require radiation or chemotherapy sessions for destroying those remaining parts. Make sure to attend all the examinations as scheduled by your doctor and take all the medications timely. You may also require some home therapy or visit a rehabilitation therapy for regaining some skills. However, you may have to stop practising sports like boxing and rugby. Also, it is advised to plan for pregnancy after 6 months or more post-surgery.

The cost of brain tumor surgery would be approximately Rs. 1,50,000 – Rs. 2,00,000.

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir, in 2015 I have diagnosed with brain tumour surgery and medication of epilepsy I have completed my treatment using oxetol for 5 years, so actually my doubt is if I stop this will epilepsy (fits) come again. Please help me.

MD Medicine, DM Neurology
The guidelines are to stop medicines after a 3 years of last attack. I guess you have not had seiure at all and the medicine was prescribe as a precaution. Ideally youi should stop the medicine, it has to be tapered down gradually over 3 months, t...
1 person found this helpful

I used to take aed starting from 6 years ago and I stopped 2 years ago. I took mri and ct scan 3 years ago and they were clear. I had a seizure a couple of days ago and the doctor put me on tegrital and told me to come back 3 weeks later. My concern is can something worse like brain tumor develop even though diagnosis from a couple of years ago was clean?

MD Medicine, DM Neurology
Dear lybrate-user, 1. You are suffering from epilepsy which means two or more unprovoked seizures. At times seizures recur after a gap of 1-2 years and stopping medication. The seizures in your case are not due to a tumour and and it is not likely...

I eat rivotril very little every night for insomnia and anxiety. I reduced it little little. Trying to stop one day. But when I bite it it taste hot and inflaming on tongue. So does it have any serious side effects on brain or other part of body. Like cancer and all. Does rivotril cause brain cancer or tumor or any side effects.

It does not cause cancer. Every drug has side effect; that does not mean you'll have side effects. Let me clarify: the tablet causes sleep. One person takes it in the morning, sleeps in the office. So, for him, sleep is a side effect. Hence, stop ...

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