What you need to know about a Spinal Tumor Removal
A spinal tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue found inside the spinal column, which can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). To treat a spinal tumor, eliminating the tumor completely may be necessary. Spinal tumor removal is usually done through surgery in which your surgeon may remove all or only parts of the spinal tumor, depending on the location of the tumor.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Spinal tumor removal is carried out under general anesthetic. The procedure is often performed with microsurgical techniques, which involve a high-powered microscope that can help your surgeon distinguish tumors from healthy tissue. Your surgeon may also use very high-frequency sound waves to break up all or parts of your tumor and remove the fragments.
How Long Should You Stay in the Area?
You will have to stay in the hospital for around 8 days after the surgery. However, you cannot leave the area immediately after you are discharged from the hospital, so plan to stay in the country for at least 14 more days for initial recovery and follow-up checkups where your surgeon removes your stitches and monitors your healing progress.
How Long is the Recovery Time?
The recovery time for spinal tumor removal may take weeks or months, but most people are able to return to work and light activities within 6 to 8 weeks. Talk to your surgeon about your recovery timeline, including the timeline to getting back to your normal routines such as exercise and heavy lifting.
What Aftercare Should You Consider?
You will be given a set of instructions regarding diet, exercise, and restrictions. You need to avoid twisting, bending, and lifting heavy items during your recovery period. You may also need to attend physical therapy and attend follow-up checkups, but you can do this in your home country. It is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your surgery, such as following a healthy diet and regular exercise.
What is the Success Rate for a Spinal Tumor Removal?
Spinal tumor removal is considered safe and effective. The success rate depends largely on how early the tumor is diagnosed and the treatment is performed. Make sure you are well informed about the side effects and risks of removing a spinal tumor, such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, nerve injury, spine injury, any function below the spine is eliminated, poor wound healing, and allergic reactions to the anesthesia.
Are there Alternatives to Spinal Tumor Removal?
In some cases, when your tumor is small and not growing or pressing nearby tissue, your doctor may suggest careful watching by undergoing periodic CT or MRI scans to monitor the tumor. If your tumor cannot be removed through surgery, your doctor may also recommend radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What Should You Expect Before and After the Procedure?
Before spinal tumor removal, you may have painful symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day life and you have a high risk of cancer spreading to other parts of your body. After the removal, any symptoms should be relieved and your risk of more serious complications is reduced significantly.
Spinal Cord Tumor (Schwannoma): Aaron’s Story, watch this short video.
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