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Spine Tumor Resections

Spinal tumors are growths that can interfere with your spinal cord, cause back and neck pain, and could be life-threatening. Michael Song, MD, and the highly skilled surgeons at Advanced Neurosurgery in Reno and Carson City, Nevada, have extensive experience in performing spine tumor resections — surgery to remove growths. If you have a spinal tumor, talk to the experts at Advanced Neurosurgery to find out whether spine tumor resection could help you. Call their nearest office today or book an appointment online.

What are spine tumor resections?

Spine tumor resections are procedures your surgeon at Advanced Neurosurgery might perform if you have a spinal tumor.

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths in or on your spinal column. They may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumors don't pose the same threat as cancerous ones, but they can grow large enough to press against your spinal cord or the nerves exiting the spinal canal, which can cause serious issues.

Types of spinal tumors include:

  • Meningiomas
  • Schwannomas
  • Neurofibromas
  • Ependymomas
  • Astrocytomas
  • Vertebral hemangiomas
  • Spinal epidural metastases

Both children and adults can develop spinal tumors. Some are primary tumors that originate in the spine; others are cancerous tumors that have spread from another part of your body, such as the kidney or thyroid gland.

For some of these conditions, spine tumor resection is the most appropriate treatment option.

When would I need a spine tumor resection?

Treating spinal tumors often involves several fields of expertise. For example, the neurosurgeons at Advanced Neurosurgery work closely with your oncologists if you have cancer.

Therefore, the decision on performing spine tumor resection is often a result of collaboration between you, Advanced Neurosurgery, and the other specialists involved in your care.

If your tumor doesn’t cause you any problems and isn't growing, monitoring it with regular MRIs might be sufficient. Some spinal tumors respond well to nonsurgical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

However, spine tumor resection is advisable if the tumor is causing problems, growing, or not responding to other approaches.

What do spine tumor resections involve?

The type of spine tumor resection you require depends on which kind of tumor you have. 

Nonmetastatic spinal tumors (those that originate in your spine) may be suitable for a complete en bloc resection (removing the entire tumor and the surrounding layer of tissue), which could affect a cure.

Metastatic tumors (cancerous growths that have spread from other parts of the body) are only suitable for spine tumor resections if other treatments aren't working, and then only as a palliative measure.

Where spine tumor resection is possible, your Advanced Neurosurgery surgeon might perform a preoperative embolization. They insert a catheter (flexible tube) through an artery in your groin and guide it up to the tumor. They then deliver an embolic agent — a glue-like liquid — that blocks the blood vessels supplying the tumor. This helps to control bleeding during surgery.

To perform a spine tumor resection, your surgeon can use a posterior approach for tumors in the back of your spinal column, or an anterior approach for tumors at the front of your spine. 

They remove (resect) the tumor and as much of the surrounding bone or tissue as necessary to minimize the risk of cancer cells remaining.

To discuss your need for spine tumor resection, call Advanced Neurosurgery today or book an appointment online.