Barrow Neurological Institute is one of the major clinical, teaching and research centers in the world for the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders including brain tumors. If surgery is determined to be the best course of treatment, Barrow neurosurgeons will use the technique most appropriate for the type and location of tumor.
Treatment of brain tumors depends on many factors including health, age at the time of diagnosis, type, size, location and characteristics of the tumor cells and blood vessels. Treatment options include:
- Observation—monitoring of slow growing, benign tumors
- Biopsy—surgical removal of a small piece of tumor to determine the type
- Partial surgical removal if the tumor cannot be reached or is located near vital areas of the brain or if complete surgical removal would cause a significant risk to the patient
- Complete surgical removal
- Endovascular surgery—embolization of blood vessels in preparation for surgery or direct delivery of chemotherapy to the tumor
- Radiation therapy
- Radiosurgery by GammaKnife, CyberKnife, the Peacock system, or linear accelerator
- Medication, including steroids to reduce brain swelling, anticonvulsants to prevent seizures, pain medication, or combinations of medications
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery involves using precisely targeted radiation to shrink or obliterate certain types of brain tumors, aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). This form of surgery also is an excellent alternative when conventional surgery isn't possible due to the lesion's location in the brain or because of a patient's age or health.
Barrow Neurological Institute is the only facility in the Southwest with CyberKnife, which uses image-guided robotics to deliver surgically precise radiation to destroy intracranial and extracranial lesions including spinal and soft tissue tumors. The CyberKnife enables access to previously unreachable tumors and is suited for many patients with tumors otherwise diagnosed as inoperable.
Skull Base Center
Barrow's Skull Base Center specializes in the treatment of skull base disorders through a multidisciplinary team approach. Treating tumors in the skull base is a surgical challenge because of the location and proximity to vital structures including the spinal cord, brain, face, eyes and ears. Barrow's Skull Base Team is recognized for the development of surgical techniques that more easily access these tumors with minimal postoperative side effects. Treatment is provided through the combined efforts of neurosurgery, craniofacial surgery, ophthalmology, neuroradiology, medical and radiation oncology, and other disciplines. Patients with skull base tumors receive a customized treatment plan based on their health and the type, location, and size of the tumor.
Treatment of Spinal Tumors
The Barrow Spine Center has a global reputation for excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of complex spinal tumors and disorders. Barrow's spine surgeons are experts in treating spinal disorders, degenerative diseases, tumors and infections, and have been instrumental in developing sophisticated equipment and specialized techniques to remove tumors and treat other complex spine abnormalities. In addition to traditional spine surgery, Barrow neurosurgeons use minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to remove herniated disks and correct other spinal anomalies. These less invasive approaches result in less pain, fewer scars, and faster recovery. In addition, Barrow is internationally recognized for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Patients also have access to the Barrow Spinal Cord Injury Wellness Clinic, which provides patients with check-ups, health maintenance visits, urogenital system care, and bladder and bowel dysfunction management.
For more information, please call 1-800-BARROW1 (227-7691) or 602-406-6281.