Gulf's first awake brain surgery performed on Indian


A multi-disciplinary team at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) carried out the surgery recently which included removal of a tumour located near the patient's brain cells responsible for vocalisation and speech, the hospital said.

"The surgery for this patient was conditioned by the risk of post-op aphasia (inability to speak). For that reason, it was decided to do this procedure with the patient awake to assess him while we do electrical stimulation on the region. We wanted to ensure that no cells from the normal brain are removed," said Dr Maher Mansour, Consultant Neurosurgeon who performed the surgery.

During the surgery, the patient's speech was assessed through tests for each stimulated area (gyrus) thrice by the speech therapy team. Technical assistance for cortical stimulation was also provided.

"The patient tolerated the 6-hour procedure and he was speaking and moving on the OR table after the last suture," Dr Mansour said.

The Indian, whose name has not been revealed, was admitted with several epileptic fits, post-critical transient aphasia and hemiparesis.

Investigations including CT scan and MRI of the brain of the Indian showed a left frontal cortico-subcortical tumour, which is in the brain area responsible for the speech.

A biopsy was done on the lesion and the histopathology report showed an Astrocytoma which is an intermediate tumour between benign and malignant.

The hospital authorities said the post-operative images of the patient's brain showed that the tumour was totally removed and the brain was under normal pressure.

However, the histopathology analysis of the tumour showed Grade 3 Astrocytoma, indicating that the patient needed complementary radiation therapy which he decided to have in his home country India.

The first line treatment of this kind of tumours is the surgical excision or at least partial excision of the lesion to reduce its volume and the mass effect on the brain.

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