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A Gray Matter

During Brain Tumor Awareness Month (May) we encountered several brain tumor patients. One stood out in particular. He was a 50-year-old male whom we had barely gotten to know. By that I mean, while we were speaking to this patient, we weren’t sure if it...

During Brain Tumor Awareness Month (May) we encountered several brain tumor patients. One stood out in particular. He was a 50-year-old male whom we had barely gotten to know. By that I mean, while we were speaking to this patient, we weren’t sure if it was actually himself. His family members told us that he had been behaving very strangely and had extensive personality changes that followed a progressive decline in his vision.

Dr. Mesiwala during brain surgery.

Dr. Mesiwala during brain surgery.

Upon scanning the patient, a very large tumor could be seen, having wedged itself in the front of the brain. In fact, it was pushing the brain backward and had nearly smashed his optic nerves – accounting for his presenting symptoms. Surgery was the obvious next step to remove the tumor and hopefully help improve this patient’s neurocognitive functions. 

On a Friday afternoon after achieving adequate anesthesia, and thorough pre-operative preparation, the team began.

The tumor, a meningioma (arising from the covering of the brain) had slowly invaded the area between the skull and the frontal lobes, slowly pushing it backward, and then extended below the skull base. It had, quite literally, pushed everything into a corner. 

We do what we do to give the patient the best chance at recovering.

We do what we do to give the patient the best chance at recovering.

After nearly 7 hrs of operating time, the entire tumor was removed using tedious, but effective, techniques and the effort of a great team. We celebrated the successful removal of the tumor. We will check in post-operatively over the next several months to track his progress.

The full recovery of any of our patients is the part we hope for above all else. We do what we do to give the patient the best chance at recovering. This man has his whole life ahead of him, a world to see, and a whole family that loves and cares for him. Fortunately, he’s on that path to recovery.