The type of tumor must be considered in determining a treatment plan. In primary tumors, the goal is to remove the tumor completely. In the case of metastatic tumors, the goal is palliative.
If small tumors aren't growing or pressing on surrounding tissues, monitoring is recommended with periodic CT or MRI scans.
The treatment of choice for tumors that can be removed. When the tumor can't be removed completely, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both.
- Radiation therapy- used to treat tumors that remain after surgery, to treat inoperable tumors or to treat those tumors where surgery is too risky.
- Chemotherapy- uses medications to destroy cancer cells.
- The surgeon ascertains general health of patient , past medical ,surgical history, also discusses the procedure its advantages and possible complications before the surgery.
- Blood tests, X-ray, MRI scan.
- Some medications like blood thinners need to be stopped at least 2 weeks before surgery.
- Advised to stop smoking as it decreases blood circulation.
- The procedure may be done by different techniques. It can be performed as open procedure or as minimally invasive spine surgery, depending on the best possible for the patient and expertise of the surgeon.
- Incision is made in skin and tissues are gently moved aside to create a path to spine.
- Minimally invasive spine surgery is an approach that minimizes the damage to the tissue surrounding the area of the operation in order to facilitate a faster recovery.
- Insertion of a catheter to the site of the tumour to deliver embolic agent blocking the vessels supplying the tumour, thus controlling bleeding.
- Procedure performed under general anaesthesia.
- The posterior approach allows the identification of the dura and exposure of the nerve roots. The anterior approach is performed for tumours in the front of the spine.
- After the procedure, the incisions are sewn together with sutures or staples to be removed 10-14 days after procedure.
- You will be monitored in the hospital for 3-5 days.
- You will feel some pain after surgery which will be controlled by medications.
- You will be given antibiotics.
- Bed rest is usually not needed.
- With the help of physical therapist you will begin exercises.
- Do not smoke. Smoking delays healing.
- Advised to maintain healthy lifestyle.
- Recovery from spinal surgery may take weeks or longer, depending on the procedure.
As in any surgery there can be complications:
- Chances of blood clots (DVT)
- Temporary loss of sensation
- Nerve damage- Any operation on the spine comes with the risk of damaging the nerves or spinal cord
- Damage can cause numbness or even paralysis
Depends on whether the spinal tumor is benign or malignant, primary or metastatic, along with the age and overall health of patient.
Warning Signs after Procedure
- Redness, swelling
- Drainage from incision site
- Elevated temperature