Rethinking Healthcare

Coming soon: surgery without scars for tumor patients

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No scarring? Surgeons may be one step closer to performing scarless surgery in a small number of patients with skull base tumors.

Surgery without scars for tumor patients? Surgeons may be one step closer to performing scarless surgery in a small number of patients with skull base tumors.

According to the University of Virginia Health System, skull base tumors can be challenging. Treatment varies from minimally invasive surgery to invasive surgery, depending upon the type of skull base tumor.

For patients with more difficult and challenging skull base tumors, invasive surgery has traditionally been used in the operating room. Often times, surgeons will operate through the face and bone. While this method may save a patient's life, surgeons worry about nerve damage due to the placement of incisions.

According to a paper published in the October issue of The Laryngoscope, a new surgery involving incisions inside a patient's cheek could be beneficial for patients looking for no visual scars in skull base surgery.

“I looked at the ‘window' that already exists in the skull, above the jawbone and below the cheekbone and realized this was an access route not previously recognized for this kind of surgery,” said Kofi Boahene, in a prepared statement.

What you need to know about this surgery:

  • This surgery was performed on seven patients, said Kofi Boahene, MD at John Hopkins, in an e-mail. Boahene said this type of surgery cannot be performed on every skull base tumor, or patients with massive skull base tumors.
  • In the small number of surgeries performed, Boahene said in a statement that surgery time dropped from six hours down to two for one patient. Boahene had originally estimated the surgery would take six hours. Boahene said in a press release that his 20-year-old patient was able to leave the day after surgery, and that no visible scars were seen after her surgery.
  • The release states that Boahene and staff expect this surgery to be performed by surgical robots in the future.

Image: via The Laryngoscope via screenshot

via The LaryngscopeJerusalem Post

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Stacy Lipson

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer Stacy Lipson has written for Natural Health, MSNBC's Body Odd, HealthDay.com, Sprig.com, BNET.com, MarieClaire.com, MyDaily.com and Lemondrop.com. He holds a degree from Temple University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure