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Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery

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On Topic Video Transcript

Paul A. Gardner, MD

Director, Center for Skull Base Surgery

If you or someone you know has a brain tumor, you want to go to a place that you can be confident has the experience, expertise, and innovative thinking to provide you with the best option. That place is UPMC.

I’m Dr. Paul Gardner. I’m a Neurosurgeon at UPMC. I’m the Co-Director of Skull Base Surgery where we do many minimally invasive approaches for brain tumors including the endoscopic endonasal approach, which we helped pioneer.

A lot of times, even brain surgeons think that tumors are inoperable, and that’s simply not the case. At UPMC our team and experience allows us to treat many tumors that are often thought to be inoperable.

Innovative Surgical Procedures

We’ve assembled a team at UPMC that has significant experience with both traditional as well as minimally invasive approaches. This allows us to evaluate each case and truly offer the best option for each patient. The minimally invasive approaches that we do at UPMC include the endoscopic endonasal approach, which is entirely through the nose working with telescopes, and then also Neuroendoport, which involves a small incision and working with a telescope through a tube for deep tumors in the brain.

The endoscopic endonasal approach, which we developed and pioneered, has been performed on over 1,500 patients at this institution. To my knowledge this is one of the largest numbers in the country, or even the world.

The advantage of minimally invasive is not just the lack of scar, but rather the lack of impact on the brain as well as important nerves and blood vessels. This can result in a much better outcome for patients.

Hope for Patients From Around the World

Because of our team and experience, we have patients come from all over the world for brain surgery at UPMC. Not only do we treat patients in our region, but also nearly every state in the country, as well as Europe, Asia, the Middle East and even South America.

We recently treated a middle-aged man from Europe with a large tumor at the base of his skull -- a chordoma. He had double vision, difficulty swallowing, and even was starting to have trouble walking. The tumor was thought to be inoperable, but we knew we could help. The tumor was removed through his nose and the patient went home two days after surgery. He’s now back home with his family. He’s returned to work and is living a normal life.

Why should a patient come to UPMC? We are among the leading centers in the world for brain surgery, we are passionate about providing patients with the best possible outcome, and our goal truly is to have the patient return to a normal quality of life as soon as possible.

For more information, contact us at 1-877-986-9862.