Posted by: Tony Carson | 2 October, 2007

Brain tumours and day surgery

From the strange but true file, how’s this?

People with brain tumours may be offered one day surgery under local anaesthetic, reports the BBC.

Patients remain awake throughout the procedure, which has been pioneered at University College Hospital, London.

They can be home the same day, when previously they would be remain in hospital for up to a week.

Doctors say the use of a local rather than general anaesthetic makes operating easier and means the patient makes a swifter recovery.

The technique has been developed by Britain’s youngest female brain surgeon, Dr Gelareh Zadeh.

It was first performed in July on a 52-year-old patient called Deborah Calder, who was able to talk to her doctors all the way through the operation. She has said the procedure gave her “a new lease of life”.

“It was completely painless, and everyone made me feel very relaxed. By evening I was at home with my family having a cup of tea.”

Ella Pybus, of Brain Tumour UK, said the new technique was potentially “very exciting”.

“The less invasive the surgery the quicker the patient recovers, and the less time you spend in hospital the less likely you are to pick up an infection.”

However, she added not all patients would be suitable for the treatment and also stressed there were downsides to going home so quickly.

“Having a brain tumour is a very serious condition, and people need immense support both pre and post op. You don’t want people sitting at home not knowing whether to worry about this symptom or that, and not having access to the information they need at a crucial time.”

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