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Since benign brain tumours do not generally recur, surgery is the usual first line treatment. Highly skilled surgeons will remove as much of the benign brain tumour as possible without taking any healthy brain tissue or causing damage to the surrounding area.
This is very delicate surgery and may take many hours involving microsurgery and robotic surgery if appropriate.
Traditional surgery is appropriate for benign brain tumours that are easy to access, such as meningiomas.
However, where the tumour is situated deep within the brain, it is often not possible to carry out traditional brain tumour surgery without causing significant damage.
In this case, radiosurgery is now an effective alternative. By applying a highly focused, high energy radiation beam to kill the cells within the benign brain tumour, the rapidly growing cells can be dealt with leaving the normal brain tissue relatively unscathed.
CyberKnife® for benign brain tumours
One of the most advanced radiosurgery techniques is done with a CyberKnife®. This is a state of the art system of stereotactic radiosurgery for both malignant and benign brain tumours. Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers precisely targeted radiation using a series of reference points in 3 dimensions.
CyberKnife® radiosurgery uses a complex image guidance system to precisely focus the beam of radiation onto the site of benign brain tumours, creating a beam as narrow as 5 mm or as wide as 60 mm. CyberKnife® radiosurgery is accurate to within half a centimetre, ensuring that the radiation destroys the benign brain tumour cells without damaging the surrounding cells.
Beating a benign brain tumour
It is unlikely that a benign brain tumour will grow back once it has been removed, but you will need to be scanned regularly following surgery to confirm that this is the case.
People recovering after surgery to remove a benign brain tumour may also require therapy to recover the compromised brain functions. This could involve speech therapy, physiotherapy or occupational therapy to recover lost skills or to learn new ways of coping without skills that have been permanently lost in damaged areas. Many people who have quite large benign brain tumours and extensive surgery do make a good recovery and go on to lead a long and full life.
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