The Brains of the Operation
Tumors of the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system are serious medical conditions. Even when they are benign, they can be dangerous, because they can still interfere with normal functioning. But new techniques and technologies are helping neurosurgeons and neurooncologists — specialists who treat brain tumor and cancer’s effects on the nervous system — achieve more effective treatments and outcomes than they did even a few years ago.
Physicians practicing at Inova Health System are part of Northern Virginia’s largest and most comprehensive neuroscience program. They treat tumors and other disorders of the nervous system that can have devastating effects on quality of life, and they treat them more effectively and successfully than ever.
Surgery on brain tumors used to mean removal of the diseased brain tissue with incisions and scalpels. It was often risky, because surgeons walked a fine line while removing bad tissue but preserving the healthy tissue needed for normal brain function. Today, minimally invasive techniques with smaller, more accurate incisions, or even radio surgery techniques with no incision at all, can often be used instead.. Neurosurgeons partner with radiation oncologists to make neurosurgery significantly less dangerous because they can target the diseased tissue with radiation. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been available at Inova Fairfax Hospital since 2000 as an alternative to neurosurgery.