Spinal tumors are a complex and challenging condition. They affect the delicate spinal cord and surrounding structures. ‘
Diagnosing and treating spinal tumors requires a multidisciplinary approach involving the expertise of neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and other healthcare professionals.
“Surgery is often the first treatment step after diagnosing a spinal cord tumor, says Dr Raveesh Sunkara, one of the top neurosurgeons in Hyderabad.”
“The reason behind this is the need for definitive tissue diagnosis. It is necessary to plan the entire course of treatment. This holds for most tumors unless they are inaccessible or highly vascular, benefiting from preoperative embolization by interventional radiology.”
For brain tumors and spinal column tumors, the principles of precision and utmost tissue respect remain the same. The goal of spinal tumor surgery is determined by several factors, including the tumor’s location, grade, and present symptoms.
Broadly, the end goal of surgery may be to remove the tumor entirely or to relieve symptoms of pain in cases where complete removal is not possible or not beneficial to the patient, such as metastatic spinal tumors.
“Previously, surgeries to remove spinal cord tumors were highly invasive, often requiring large incisions and significant tissue disruption. However, technological advancements now allow many of these operations to be performed with less invasive techniques.”
“These techniques utilize smaller incisions, specialized instruments, and advanced imaging technologies. They result in reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and improved patient outcomes, explains Dr Raveesh Sunkara.”
Some of the advanced methods deployed in spinal cord tumor surgery include:
• High-powered microscopes provide a magnified image during surgery, aiding in utmost precision.
• Neuro-navigation enables the pinpoint location of tumors, leading to less invasive procedures.
• Intraoperative IGC techniques and intraoperative Doppler allow real-time visualization of blood vessels.
• Nerve monitoring helps avoid damage to even the smallest nerves, ensuring zero postoperative deficits.
Doctors can use interventional radiology to visualize malignancies and perform image-guided interventional procedures in real-time.
Minimal invasive biopsies, direct delivery of medicine to tumors, and palliative care can be provided through interventional radiology, making it the best modality for spinal tumors that are not operable.
Some tumors benefit drastically from preoperative embolization techniques, making the tumor less vascular and avoiding unnecessary blood loss during surgery. This advancement in IR has already helped many patients.
Minimally invasive techniques such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are used to treat compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae caused by spine cancer. These procedures help repair damaged or collapsed vertebrae, relieve pain, restore height, strengthen the vertebrae, reduce spinal deformity, and stabilize fractures.
Targeted therapy for spine cancer focuses on specific pathways or anomalies in spinal tumor cells involved in tumor growth. Oncologists often use it in conjunction with other treatments, such as chemotherapy. Patients with tumor recurrence after earlier spine cancer treatments may be candidates for targeted therapy.
One type of targeted therapy for spinal tumors is monoclonal antibody treatment. It prevents the creation of new blood vessels that a tumor requires to grow (a process known as angiogenesis).
Spinal tumor treatments have witnessed remarkable advances in recent years. Dr Raveesh Sunkara, a highly skilled neurosurgeon in Hyderabad specializing in spinal tumor treatments, has been instrumental in driving these breakthroughs.
Through his expertise in minimally invasive surgeries, advanced imaging techniques, intraoperative neuromonitoring, and research endeavours, Dr Sunkara is transforming the landscape of spinal tumor treatments.
His unwavering commitment to innovation and patient care is a beacon of hope for individuals battling spinal tumors, offering them a chance for a better quality of life.