An 11-year-old child recently underwent a rare surgery to remove a large tumour from the brain stem.
The surgery on the Bangladeshi boy from Dhaka lasted 18 hours and was performed in two stages by a team of 10 doctors at MGM Healthcare.
K. Sridhar, director and group head, Institute of Neurosciences and Spinal Disorders, led the surgery. The boy had been suffering from weakness in the limbs and developed severe headache. He was diagnosed as having a large tumour in the brain stem, a deep critical region.
The patient underwent advanced neuroimaging, including tractography, to understand the relation between the nerve fibres and the tumour.
Dr. Sridhar said: “The brain stem is in the centre of the brain and tightly packed with important nerve cells and connections that ensure basic human functions. Until a decade ago, surgery for brain tumours was considered impossible. With technological advances in imaging and in the operating room for surgery, monitoring it is now possible.”
“There are many tumours in the brain stem that are not aggressive cancers and surgery is often enough to treat the patient,” he said. The current international protocols do not allow for radiation without proper pathology, he added.
The neurosurgery team monitored the patient as they respected the tumour. He was ready to be discharged 10 days after the surgery.