Neurosurgeons in Chennai remove tricky brain tumour using eyebrow keyhole technique

The doctors claimed that there has been no recorded medical literature on an eyebrow keyhole approach to remove an insular tumour and hence, this was a first-of-its-kind surgery. 

Updated - May 24, 2024 05:51 pm IST

Published - May 21, 2024 04:46 pm IST - CHENNAI

Dr. Hrishikesh Sarkar, Senior Consultant – Neurosurgery, Apollo Cancer Centre Chennai, demonstrating the insular brain tumours through transformative eyebrow keyhole on May 21, 2024. (From left to right) Dr. Pradeep Balaji, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai, Dr. Vignesh Sayeerajan, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai, Dr. Agnetia Vinoth, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai and Mr. Harshad Reddy, Director – Group Oncology and International are in the picture.

Dr. Hrishikesh Sarkar, Senior Consultant – Neurosurgery, Apollo Cancer Centre Chennai, demonstrating the insular brain tumours through transformative eyebrow keyhole on May 21, 2024. (From left to right) Dr. Pradeep Balaji, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai, Dr. Vignesh Sayeerajan, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai, Dr. Agnetia Vinoth, Consultant – Neurosurgery, ACC Chennai and Mr. Harshad Reddy, Director – Group Oncology and International are in the picture. | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

A 46-year-old woman from Chennai, diagnosed with a tumour in the insular lobe of her brain, was successfully treated using a minimally-invasive approach by Apollo Cancer Centres, Chennai.

The Centre’s team of neurosurgeons used an innovative way to access and remove a tumour nestled within the delicate folds of the insular lobe. 

The insula, which is embedded within the cerebral cortex, is known to pose significant challenges for surgical intervention as it is surrounded by vital areas controlling functions such as speech and movement. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Hrishikesh Sarkar, senior neurosurgery consultant at Apollo Cancer Centres, said, in the conventional approach, surgeons would have to navigate through intricate blood vessels to access the insula, risking paralysis, stroke, and language impairment. 

Alternatively, Dr. Sarkar said, the keyhole approach via a miniscule incision in the eyebrow allowed a safer and direct route to the insula. This minimised risks, post-operative pain, and shortened hospital stay, he added.

Agnetia Vinoth, neurosurgery consultant at Apollo Cancer Centres, said the team used neuronavigation, a system for image-guided neurosurgery, and performed a simulation surgery using a 3D-printed model of the patient’s brain prior to the actual surgery. The patient was discharged from the hospital within 72 hours of the surgery and is doing well so far, he said.

The doctors claimed that there has been no recorded medical literature on an eyebrow keyhole approach to remove an insular tumour and hence, this was a first-of-its-kind surgery. 

Harshad Reddy, Director-Operations, Group Oncology and International, Apollo Hospitals, said, “We anticipate a shift towards more minimally invasive techniques that promise even greater precision and efficacy in cancer care.”

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