London: A revolutionary new form of surgery that allows brain tumours to be removed without making a single incision is set to transform the field of medicine.
Traditionally, such operations involved surgeons opening the skull – a procedure known as a craniotomy – and delving downwards.
Alternatively, parts of the brain were reached via large incisions in the side of the face or inside the mouth, all options that leave major scars.
But pioneering brain surgeons at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital have adopted a US-developed technique to reach deep-set tumours using an endoscope that is fed through the nose, reports the Daily Mail.
Surgeons now hope the success of this operation will pave the way for other types of brain tumour to be removed without making a single incision.
The tumour is reached by working through one nostril and making a hole in the back of the nasal cavity into the bottom of the skull. Through this hole, the surgeon can see the bottom of the pituitary gland and the tumour.
Cutting instruments, also mounted on flexible or telescopic arms, are used to remove the growth in pieces.
The new procedure reduces the operating time by up to two hours, reduces the risk of infection, and allows for a quicker recovery compared to the older techniques.