Older man recovering from brain tumor

Brain tumor treatment​

You'll receive expert treatment for a brain tumor at The Christ Hospital Health Network. Your multidisciplinary care team includes fellowship-trained, board-certified neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists and dedicated neurosurgery nurses. Our experience, combined with advanced technologies, means we work together to offer you the best care possible.

After a brain tumor diagnosis, your care team works with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. We understand that having brain surgery can be frightening and overwhelming. Knowing that your surgery is being performed by an exceptional neurosurgeon at The Christ Hospital Health Network can be reassuring. Our goals are to provide effective treatment, restore neurological function and meet the social needs many brain tumor patients and their families face daily.

Brain tumor surgery

Surgery is a common treatment for many types of brain tumors. With some slow-growing tumors, it may be the only treatment needed to fully remove the tumor and relieve symptoms. For other brain tumors, surgery might be followed by other treatments. Find out more about cancerous brain and nervous system tumors. 

The type of surgery for a brain tumor is determined by several factors:

  • The aggressiveness or how likely the tumor is to spread 

  • If the tumor is causing pressure on vital areas of the brain

  • The patient’s age, general health and medical history

  • The size, type and location of the tumor

  • Whether the neurosurgeon thinks the tumor can be removed fully   

For most brain surgeries, your neurosurgeon removes a small piece of the skull (a craniotomy) to get to the brain tumor. This piece of skull is replaced at the end of the surgery and held in place with small titanium plates and screws. 

Brain tumors are removed during surgery using:

  • A scalpel or special surgical scissors to cut out the tumor 

  • A vacuum device to remove it (if the tumor is very soft)

  • A tool to liquefy the tumor and then vacuum it out 

Most surgeries have the goal of removing the entire tumor in a safe manner (a total resection); however, sometimes a total resection of the tumor is not possible or is unsafe. Subtotal resection (also called debulking surgery) is when your surgeon removes as much of the tumor as safely possible, intentionally leaving some tumor behind to minimize the risk of harming healthy brain tissue. Your neurosurgeon will have a frank discussion with you about the benefits and risks of resecting your brain tumor and customizing a surgical treatment plan.

After surgery, other therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended if your tumor is malignant. 

Recovery from brain tumor surgery

It takes time for a patient to rest, recover and heal after brain tumor surgery. Factors that affect recovery time are the:

  • Age and overall health of the patient

  • Areas of the brain that were affected by the tumor and the surgery

  • Location of the tumor in the brain

  • Type of brain tumor procedure

Get more information about brain tumor care at The Christ Hospital Health Network.