New Technology Burning Away Brain Tumors

Photo Credit: Jon Hamilton

Photo Credit: Jon Hamilton

By Andrea Pacetti | The Cleveland Clinic 

More than 69-thousand Americans are diagnosed with a brain tumor every year. Many of them will need an aggressive treatment plan that includes major surgery to remove the tumor. But now there's an easier and safer way to get rid of these lesions – doctors are burning brain tumors. Three years ago, doctors told Meghan Schultz she had a brain tumor. I was scared to death.” Meghan Schultz told Ivanhoe. The eighth-grade teacher was pregnant with her son when she got the news. “What am I going to do? I have a baby, but I have a brain tumor in my head!” Schultz said.

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After baby Liam was born – Meghan had major brain surgery -doctors cut into her skull to remove her tumor. A year later – the tumor came back – and Cleveland clinic surgeons told Meghan about a new option. “I think it's the next big thing in brain tumor surgery.” Gene Barnett, M.D., Neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic told Ivanhoe. Instead of cutting – doctors use heat to destroy the tumor. They heat a thin laser probe-up to 130 degrees-then insert it through a tiny hole and essentially burn the tumor. “It works by heating the tissue around it to the point where it cooks, just like you're cooking a hardboiled egg.” Dr. Barnett explained.

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