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Closed Stereotactic Surgery for Malignant Glioma

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Closed stereotactic surgery for malignant glioma is done to perform a biopsy on a tumor in the brain called a malignant glioma. A malignant glioma forms when brain cells called glial cells become cancerous. A small piece of the tumor is taken out during a biopsy and sent to a lab for tests.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Medicine may be given right before your procedure or surgery. This medicine may make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
  • Local anesthesia is medicine used to numb the surgery area. The medicine may be given in an injection, cream, gel, or patch.

During your surgery:

  • Your head will be placed on a frame that is connected to a computer. The rigid frame will be attached to your head with pins or screws. Scanned images of your brain will show pictures on a monitor. This will help your surgeon see the different brain areas to target and biopsy your glioma accurately.
  • Your surgeon will insert a needle into your scalp and skull through a small opening. The needle passes through your brain until it reaches the tumor. A sample will be taken and sent to a lab for tests. A bandage will be placed over the incision.

After your surgery:

You may be taken to a recovery room until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you will be taken back to your hospital room. The bandages used to cover your stitches keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your surgery to check your wound.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery, or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.
  • You will be able to drink liquids and eat certain foods once your stomach function returns after surgery. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then be given soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Anticonvulsives help control seizures.
  • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
  • Diuretics help decrease swelling in your brain. This may help your brain get better blood flow.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Steroids are often given with other chemotherapy medicines. Prednisone may help shrink lymph nodes back to their normal size. It can also help control the number of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell). Do not stop taking this medicine unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. Stopping on your own can cause problems.

Monitoring:

  • Your pulse may be checked to help healthcare providers find any blood flow problems after your surgery.
  • A heart monitor , or ECG, may be used to record your heart's electrical activity.
  • Neurologic exam is also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. A neurologic exam can show healthcare providers how well your brain works after an injury or illness. A provider will check how your pupils (black dots in the center of each eye) react to light. He or she may check your memory and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested.

RISKS:

Your brain, eyes, bones, blood vessels, or nerves may get injured. You could have trouble breathing, develop an infection, or bleed more than expected after surgery. Problems may happen during the closed stereotactic surgery that may require your surgeon to do open brain surgery. Even after surgery, there is a chance that another biopsy may have to be done.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.