Doctors at a city hospital have successfully operated on a 35-year-old Ethiopian woman, suffering from a brain tumour which had engulfed the nerves of her eyes affecting eyesight and blood supply to the brain.
If not removed in time, the tumour could have turned fatal.
Sefinesh Wolde started losing vision in both eyes a year ago. For almost a year her vision continued to deteriorate until eyesight in the right eye was almost completely gone while eyesight in the left eye was badly compromised. This was on top of severe headaches she was experiencing every day.
By the time she was admitted to the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital three weeks ago, she had lost complete vision in her right eye and hardly had any vision left in her left eye.
After thorough diagnosis, she was found to be suffering from Tuberculum sellae meningioma’, a tumour growing from the skull base inside the brain. It was engulfing the nerves of the eyes affecting vision and blood supply to the brain,
If the blood supply to brain gets affected, it may over long term, lead to paralysis, stroke or even death.
Hers was a classic case of tumour in the anterior fossa of the brain which houses frontal lobes. The treatment for this is only surgery intervention, one of the most challenging and complicated procedures in neurosurgery.
“Skull based tumours are one of the most difficult to operate as they in the skull base and reaching them is quite a tough process.
“It involves nerves of eyes and the major blood supply of the brain because of which brain functions gets compromised. So when we operate on these tumours it is very difficult to separate carotid arteries, which are main arteries supplying blood to the brain,” Dr Sudheer Kumar Tyagi, senior consultant and coordinator, Neurosurgeon, at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said.
Treating this tumour requires immense precision to provide not just temporary relief but for long term tumour control with protection of visual function and minimisation of complications.
“Both her eyes were in a bad condition. The optic nerves as well as carotid arteries were involved with the tumour. The optic nerves are very soft in texture and also very difficult to separate from the vascular and hard brain tumours, which originate in the skull base, he said, terming the surgery as extremely challenging.
“Then we could go into the skull base and separate the tumour from both optic nerves and carotid arteries. At the same time being mindful of other structures like the brain stem, which was behind the tumour, was extremely prudent,” he explained.
After surgery, the patient was moved to a post-operative course where she was managed with an extensive medication regime of antibiotics, anti-epileptics, analgesics, anti-edema, and other supportive measures.
The patient, who was discharged within a week has regained vision in both eyes and is doing well, Dr Tygai said.
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