The Doctors: Ultrasonic Brain Surgery for a Tumor
While Gary was vacationing with his wife in Alaska, he contracted a very severe sinus infection and developed some hearing loss in his left ear. He went to the doctor for an MRI and they found to be causing the hearing loss was not a sinus infection. It was a brain tumor.
Dr. Hrayr Shahinian, the Medical Director at the Skull Base Institute, was the doctor taking care of Gary. He said although the tumor was benign, it could have killed Gary by compression. The tumor was also located in a very dangerous part of brain. It was laying right next to the brainstem and was actually pushing the brainstem to the side.
Why Do Tumors Happen?
Dr. Travis Stork wanted to know if there was any reason Gary developed the tumor but Dr. Shahinian said it is simply bad luck. The tumor happened because of a mutation and it happens in about 1 in every 100,000 people in America. It is not hereditary and there is no way to know if you could develop one.
Old Technique for Removing Brain Tumors
While Dr. Shahinian has a new way to remove brain tumors, he wanted to explain how nearly every other doctor removes a brain tumor first.
Two teams of surgeons are needed for the procedure. One team drills a large hole behind the patient’s ear and they bring the ear forward. Next, the second team heads in and uses a metal retractor to move the lower brain and then the tumor is taken out piece by piece. According to Dr. Shahinian it is a 12 hour procedure that is followed by a two week stay in the hospital and at least another five days in the ICU.
Dr Shahinian Technique for Removing Brain Tumor
With Dr. Shahinian’s technique, he makes a dime sized opening behind the ear and then ultrasonically he takes out the central core of the tumor, causing it to shrink and also making it easy to remove the tumor. Then the bone behind the ear is replaced and the procedure is done.
Basically, Dr. Shahinian is vacuuming out the tumor.
One of the most remarkable things about his procedure is that it only takes about eight days to recover. For Gary, he was walking within eight days, said he felt great and was even back to work already.
Signs of a Brain Tumor
Dr. Shahinian said there are some signs you could have a brain tumor.
- Unilateral hearing loss
- Balance issues
- Facial weakness
Check out both the videos below to see how Dr. Shahinian removed Gary’s brain tumor.