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Brain Abnormalities

TUMOR

A brain tumor is a solid neoplasm within the brain that can affect any part of the brain.  A brain tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign) in origin.  It can also be a metastasis from another area of the body.  A tumor in the brain poses different risks than other tumors of the body since the tumor location, size, and the state of development can impinge on the threat.  Surgical intervention is an option for brain tumors.

Surgical Treatment:
Craniotomy


PITUITARY TUMOR

A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth of the pituitary gland.  Most pituitary tumors are noncancerous (benign) and rarely cause symptoms making them difficult to diagnose.  Pituitary tumors arise from conditions like Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome) and Acromegaly.  However, visual changes and hormone imbalances are the common symptoms.  Surgery is often necessary to remove the pituitary tumor.

Surgical Treatment:
Transsphenoidal Hypophysectomy Surgical Approach
Craniotomy


TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when when an external force injures the brain.  Common causes of TBI include falls, motor vehicle accidents, and violence.  TBI can range from being very minor to severe.  Surgery is dependent on the severity of the injury.

Surgical Treatment:
Craniotomy


SUBDURAL HEMATOMA

A subdural hematoma (SDH) is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain.  This can be both an acute or chronic condition.  Subdural hematomas are usually the result of a serious head injury (motor vehicle accident or falls) or minor head injury.  Individuals at higher risk for for subdural hematomas are those one anticoagulant medications (Coumadin, Plavix), alcohol abuse, frequent falls, repeated head injury, and older age.  If acute, surgical intervention is necessary.

Surgical Treatment:
Craniotomy


SUBARACHNOID HEMORRHAGE

A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers the brain, called the subarachnoid space.  Causes and risk factors for SAH is head injury, rupture of cerebral aneurysm, bleeding disorder, being on blood thinners or rupture of an arteriovenous malformation.  Surgical intervention may be necessary.

Surgical Treatment:
Craniotomy
Endovascular Coiling


INTRACRANIAL HEMORRHAGE

An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding with in the brain, not on the surface of the brain.  This is caused by a rupture of a blood vessel within the brain from trauma, stroke, or anticoagulant therapy. 


ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a vascular abnormality between the connection of the veins and arteries in the brain.  These vascular lesions allow the blood to flow from the venous system directly into the arterial system as there is no capillary bed, making the AVM vessels very fragile.  This condition deprives the surrounding tissue of the ability to rid of CO2 and to absorb O2.  This condition is congenital.  Surgical intervention may be necessary.

Surgical Treatment:
Craniotomy
Cerebral Endovascular Embolization


CHIARI MALFORMATION

This condition is the downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the opening of the base of the skull from a reduced development of the posterior fossa of the skull.  This condition can cause hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) by obstructing the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).  The condition of severity is rated on a scale of I-IV, IV being the most severe.  Surgical intervention is necessary based on the grade of the chiari malformation.
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