Drs: Cutting-Edge Brain Surgery For Glioblastoma Multiforme

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The Drs: Father-Daughter Glioblastoma Multiforme

Drs: Cutting-Edge Brain Surgery For Glioblastoma Multiforme

The Doctors took a closer look at a cutting-edge procedure that was used to remove one young girl’s brain tumor. (jetheriot / flickr)

The Doctors shared the Murphy family’s story. The happy couple married in 1996 and about a week later, Brian started having severe headaches. He experienced what seemed like a non-stop charlie horse in his right thigh for two months. He was playing in a basketball game when he suddenly fell to the ground. On Valentine’s Day, the couple received the news that Brian had glioblastoma multiforme and had just three months to live. Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive, rare brain tumor.

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Brian died on May 14, 1997, and three months later, their daughter Blakely was born. On February 14, 2009, while playing basketball, Blakely had a seizure and the next day she got an MRI and saw the images of Brian’s tumor, in her brain. She told Blakely she had a brain tumor and it was in the same location as her dad’s. She was diagnosed 12 years to the day that he was diagnosed. Blakely asked her mother if she was going to die like her father.

The Drs: Recurring Brain Tumors

Blakely underwent brain surgery while she was awake and for two years everything was great. Suddenly one night Blakely was vomiting profusely, had a seizure, and stopped breathing. An MRI confirmed that she had another tumor in the exact same location as before, but this time it was deeper. They had to go through another surgery, but this time it was minimally invasive.

The Doctors were joined by Blakely, her mother, and their doctor. Blakely shared that all her MRIs have been clean and she’s had no seizures or tingling. Blakely’s mom, Dawn, shared that she had to stay strong to do what she could do.

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The Drs: Cutting-Edge Brain Surgery Technique

Dr Ronald L. Young explained that he used a port to go into the brain and operate, rather than cutting into the brain. He said cutting through the fibers can cause damage, but now they can perform brain surgery without doing as much damage and get the tumors out. He explained that they use a port called the Brain Path and they use that port to make a small opening, and place it right into the folds of the brain. They find a safe course down into the brain through the folds, rather than through the brain tissue itself.

They then insert an instrument through the port to remove the tumor using suction. The patient is often awake during the procedure, because the patient can help in the operation by sharing when they have difficulty with speech or movement.

What did you think about this incredible procedure for removing brain tumors?

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