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OH Docs get High-Tech: Removing Brain Tumors through the Nose

March 15, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio Cancer hospital is among those paving the way on an innovative approach to brain surgery. Surgeons at Ohio State's Minimally Invasive Cranial Surgery Program are removing tumors in the brain and nasal cavity through the noses of some patients, using an approach that leaves no facial incisions or scarring, causes less trauma to the brain and nerves, and has fewer side effects and quicker recovery times.

Dr. Bradley Otto, assistant professor and member of Ohio State's Cranial Base Center, offers the example of a recent patient they treated for a sinus cancer.

"In years past we probably would have had that patient in the hospital for about a week, she probably would have had to need an incision across the top of her head and also along the front of her face. We were able to do it through the nose and we had her out of the hospital in two days."

Dr. Otto says the head of the program, Dr. Daniel Prevedello, is one of only a few neurosurgeons worldwide trained in the procedure, and helped pioneer the techniques used at Ohio State. And he says their hope is that the approach will gain popularity and become a widespread practice.

"Here at Ohio State, we're developing courses to teach other physicians how to do this, and we also hope that we raise awareness that this type of technology is out there."

During the procedure, surgeons use tiny surgical instruments and high-definition cameras to find and remove tumors, often including those that are difficult to reach or those that would once have been considered inoperable. Spinal fluid leaks as well as benign and malignant nasal and brain tumors can be treated using the endoscopic endonasal approach.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH