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61-year-old celebrates birthday at Fakeeh University Hospital after brain tumor surgery

61-year-old celebrates birthday at Fakeeh University Hospital after brain tumor surgery

Persistent headaches, memory loss, blurry vision, and fatigue - what would you think if you experienced these symptoms? Like most people, Mark (name changed for confidentiality reasons) dismissed these symptoms as regular signs of aging. However, they soon began to interfere with his daily life, making it difficult for him to remember even simple tasks.

Mark visited many healthcare facilities, where he was diagnosed with dementia and prescribed medication to manage symptoms. When nothing much improved despite the medication, he visited a Neurologist, who in an MRI diagnosed Mark as having a brain tumor.

Being referred to Dr. Tommaso Tufo, Consultant Neurosurgeon - Brain & Spine, Mark visited Fakeeh University Hospital to seek further medical assistance. Dr. Tommaso Tufo took the case under his wing and after careful examination, advised an MRI to further understand the condition and discuss treatment options.

The MRI revealed a large tumor over 5 cm. in size with a brain shift, causing a significant mass effect on his brain. This tumor compressed all major vessels including the optic nerve, carotid artery (blood vessels that supply blood to the brain), and pituitary glands. The reports also revealed that Mark suffered from meningioma, a common benign tumor of the meninges - layers that protect the brain and spinal cord, that can compress adjacent brain tissue or spinal cord. The patient had lost his sense of smell for over a year, caused due to the tumor's location and its impact on the olfactory nerves that enable the sense of smell.

“Mark’s condition could have resulted from a variety of factors, including hormonal changes or neurodegenerative condition. However, there was no indication of his age being a causative factor, even though that would be the first and most common cause of attribution,” said Dr. Tommaso Tufo.

Dr. Tommaso Tufo performed a minimally invasive craniotomy utilizing advanced tools, techniques, and technologies, such as neuronavigation and ultrasonic surgical aspirator. The tumor was exceptionally challenging to remove due to its size and the number of vessels and nerves involved. Mark’s brain was swollen, leading to an increase in cranial pressure that could potentially result in a coma. If the condition was left untreated, the patient could also have lost his eyesight entirely.

Despite the complexities, Dr. Tommaso Tufo successfully removed the tumor, and within 2 days of his ICU stay, Mark showed signs of recovery. He celebrated his birthday in recovery, with the FUH nurses and staff, the next day.

He experienced no headaches post-surgery, and his memory and vision improved with time. Mark was grateful for the expertise and care of Dr. Tommaso Tufo and his team, for saving his life and restoring his health. He has a newfound appreciation for his health and the importance of seeking medical attention when something feels off.

What is Craniotomy?

A craniotomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating a flap in the skull to access the brain. A craniotomy is used as a surgical approach to access the brain and treat a variety of conditions that affect the brain or surrounding tissues. Some of the most common reasons for performing a craniotomy include the removal of a brain tumor, the treatment of an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation, the removal of a blood clot, and the relief of pressure on the brain due to trauma or swelling. During the procedure, an incision is made in the scalp and specialized tools are used to remove a section of the skull bone, known as the bone flap.

Post-surgery, the bone flap is usually replaced and secured with plates, screws, or wires. While craniotomy is a complex and delicate procedure, advances in surgical techniques, imaging technology, and anesthesia have greatly improved its safety and effectiveness. The approaches are minimally invasive, the wounds of a few centimeters and not visible, it is not necessary to cut the hair.

Neurosurgery at FUH

The Neurosurgery Department at FUH is the ultimate destination for patients seeking care for complex neurological conditions. The state-of-the-art operating rooms are equipped with modern technology and staffed with expert neurosurgeons and support staff working tirelessly to ensure successful outcomes.