The brain is the control center of the body. It controls thoughts, memory, speech and movement; it also regulates the function of many organs. When the brain is healthy, it works quickly and automatically. However, when problems occur, the results can be devastating.
Below is a brief and simple description of the brain structures and functions:
The frontal lobes are quite large and are associated with executive functions such as self-control, movement, planning, reasoning, memory, mood, etc. The part of the brain associated with sight is also greatly enlarged and is called occipital lobe. The temporal lobe is responsible for the language, behavior, hearing and emotions. The parietal lobe is what distinguishes the left and right, reading, writing, sensations, etc.
The human brain performs a lot of functions. Generally, we can say that it is responsible for regulating and maintaining the body functions and for being the organ that is the home of the individual’s mind and conscience. There are several conditions that may affect the brain and its functions and, therefore, other parts of the body; however, they may be treatable with an early diagnosis.
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of brain tissue that may disrupt normal brain function. Generally, it refers to brain tumors which are based on the place where these cells originated, and are classified as high grade (malignant) or low grade (benign) tumors. There are about 120 types of brain and nervous system tumors and all of them behave differently and vary from person to person. They form in different places, originate from different cells, and have different treatment alternatives.
Brain tumor symptoms vary depending on the type and location. We can mention: recurrent headaches, vision problems, seizures, changes in personality or behavior, short-term memory loss, impaired coordination, difficulty speaking or understanding, among others. Sometimes, it is possible that the patient did not show any symptoms before the diagnosis.
The brain tumor diagnostic process can be complex and requires participation and consultation with other specialists. Brain imaging, usually an MRI, is always the first step. A biopsy may be necessary, for which we rely on the pathologist to identify the type of tumor.
Brain tumor treatment options depend on several factors: the patient’s age, overall health and medical history; the type of tumor, its location and size; the tumor’s chance of spreading or the probability of recurrence; the patient’s tolerance to specific medications, procedures, or therapies.
Tumor treatment alternatives:
Stereotactic biopsy: A surgical procedure to remove a sample of tumor tissue for microscopic examination. It can be performed as an isolated procedure in cases where the tumor can not be removed without damaging critical parts of the brain, or when the patient is not a candidate for surgery. The pathologist examines and determines the exact type of tumor; whether it is high or low grade as well as its severity.
Craniotomy: It is the temporary surgical removal of a portion of the skull to expose the brain tissue, which is restored when the surgery concludes. It can be done for the purposes of tumor diagnosis, treatment or removal.
Description of technology and special procedures:
Stereotactic surgery is a surgical technique that allows us to reach any point in the brain with a millimetric accuracy of less than one thousandth of a degree. The complexity of brain functions require continued integrity of its connecting paths thus, any alteration of the brain structure involves a degree of neurological dysfunction. The stereotaxis accuracy allows us to move through the brain without causing any additional injury to the patient. Currently in neurosurgical practice, it is essential to have a multifunctional stereotactic system, which requires two elements: an atlas or set of brain maps, and a stereotactic device, the instrument to locate the coordinates of the area within the brain that we want to access.
Microsurgery: Pentero 900 Microscope
This microscope is the top of the line of Carl Zeiss microscopes. It applies the principles of photodynamics for of tumor resection and anthocyanin green angiography to correct aneurysm problems. It is the best choice and the most modern, unique of its kind in Central America. It also allows adding software to use neurobrowsers and fluorescence studies that provide a clear picture of the blood flow in certain vascular surgeries for greater accuracy and safety.