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Seizure due to brain tumor surgery

Like any other invasive procedure, brain surgery is closely associated with many side effects. However, the likelihood of side effects increases significantly when it comes to the surgery of the brain as it is the master of all body controls. The intensity and duration of the side effects varies in accordance with the reason for the operation and the area of brain on which the operation was carried out. In some uncommon cases, people have to re-learn some or all basic skills such as reading and writing.

The malignant and benign tumors of the brain can cause substantial tissue damage. Thorough removal of all affected tissue is important to prevent the tumor from spreading further or from reccurring. Although this does save the patient’s life, removing tissue leads to complications.

Infections– Infection constitutes an unwanted effect related to brain surgery. If bacteria gain access to the brain during the procedure, chances of brain infection are high. For example, infection due to Staphylococcus Aureus can lead to meningeal inflammation. As a small hole is made in the skull, the patient stands a fair chance of acquiring a skull infection. A proper antibiotic regime is started immediately to prevent such after effects.

Bleeding– There is a possibility of post-operative intracranial bleeding in cases in which surgical eradication of a malignant or benign tumor has been carried out. This bleeding is known as a hemorrhage and it causes an increase in pressure. This spike in pressure either within or on the brain as well as the surrounding structures has the potential to reach alarmingly high levels, leading to either unconsciousness or death.

Some symptoms that suggest intracerebral bleeding include: nausea, sudden headache, vomiting and loss of sensation leading to numbness. Weakness is another important symptom. One must call for a doctor’s help immediately on noticing these symptoms.

Seizure– Seizures are caused by unusual electrical activity within the brain. Post neurosurgery, seizures are quite common and may occur either immediately, after a few months or even many years after the day of operation. If the seizure does occur soon after the completion of surgery, it is regarded as a “provoked” seizure. Some seizures are classified as ‘unprovoked’ if they continue to occur for a long time after the surgery. Patients belonging to the latter category are diagnosed as epileptic.

Seizures occur because after the removal of damaged or infected tissue, the brain makes new but different connections with the nerves. Such abnormal connections lead to unprovoked seizures which range in frequency. The good news is that many such seizures are treatable via effective anti-convulsant drugs.

Stroke– A stroke is defined as an emergency medical situation in which the blood flow in the brain experiences a sudden interruption. Blocked vessels may be a cause of stroke, especially after brain tumor removal surgery.

By |Thursday, June 8, 2017|Blog, News|0 Comments

Symptoms of a Spinal Tumor

Depending on the location and type of spinal tumor, different signs and symptoms can develop, especially as a tumor grows and affects your spinal cord, surrounding nerves or blood vessels.

The following general symptoms may be associated with a spinal tumor:

  • Pain in the neck or back, followed by neurological problems (such as weakness or numbness of the arms or legs or a change in normal bowel or bladder habits) is most common
  • Focal spine pain that is worse in the morning
  • Pain that is severe when there is direct manipulation or compression of the affected area of the spine
  • Pain that does not diminish with rest, and pain that may be worse at night than during the day
  • Back pain along with constitutional symptoms, such as loss of appetite, unplanned weight loss, nausea, vomiting, or fever, chills or shakes.
  • Difficulty walking, sometimes leading to falls
  • Decreased sensitivity to pain, heat and cold

Back pain is a common early symptom of both noncancerous and cancerous spinal tumors. Spinal tumors progress at different rates. In general, cancerous spinal tumors grow more quickly, and noncancerous spinal tumors tend to develop very slowly. Both noncancerous and cancerous spinal tumors can compress the spinal cord and nerves, leading to a loss of movement or sensation at and below the level of the tumor and sometimes to changes in bowel and bladder function. Nerve damage may be permanent. However, if a spinal tumor is caught early and treated aggressively, it may be possible to prevent further loss of function and, with aggressive rehabilitation, regain nerve function. Depending on its location, a tumor that compresses the spinal cord itself may be life-threatening.

Additionally, important general characteristics for spinal tumors include:

  • Tumors that originate in the spine (primary tumors) are quite rare
  • Primary spinal tumors tend to occur in younger adults and most typically are slow growing and benign
  • Most spinal tumors have spread (metastasized) from another area of the body
  • For patients with cancer elsewhere in the body, any new complaint of spine pain or neurological deficits requires an immediate evaluation to determine if the cancer has spread to the spine

References

http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spinal-tumor/symptoms-a-spinal-tumor

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-tumor/symptoms-causes/dxc-20117316

By |Saturday, May 13, 2017|Blog, News|0 Comments

It is important to know concussion symptoms

There are many ways to get a concussion. Some common ways include fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing, or snowboarding.

What are the symptoms of concussion?

It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. You don’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion.

Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your doctor.

Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:

  • Thinking and remembering

Not thinking clearly, Feeling slowed down, not being able to concentrate, not being able to remember new information

  • Physical

Nausea and vomiting, Headache, Fuzzy or blurry vision, Dizziness, Sensitivity to light or noise, Balance problems, Feeling tired or having no energy

  • Emotional and mood

Easily upset or angered, Sad, Nervous or anxious, More emotional

  • Sleep

Sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual, having a hard time falling asleep

Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children and adults. But sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a concussion. Young children may also have symptoms like:

  • Crying more than usual.
  • Headache that does not go away.
  • Changes in the way they play or act.
  • Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep.
  • Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums.
  • A sad mood.
  • Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys.
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training.
  • Loss of balance and trouble walking.
  • Not being able to pay attention.

Concussions in older adults can also be dangerous. This is because concussions in older adults are often missed. If you are caring for an older adult who has had a fall, check him or her for symptoms of a concussion. Signs of a serious problem include a headache that gets worse or increasing confusion or both. See a doctor right away if you notice these signs. If you are caring for an older adult who takes blood thinners—warfarin (Coumadin) is an example—and who has had a fall, take him or her to a doctor right away, even if you don’t see any symptoms of a concussion.

Sometimes after a concussion you may feel as if you are not functioning as well as you did before the injury. This is called postconcussive syndrome. New symptoms may develop, or you may continue to be bothered by symptoms from the injury, such as:

  • Changes in your ability to think, concentrate, or remember.
  • Headaches or blurry vision.
  • Changes in your sleep patterns, such as not being able to sleep or sleeping all the time.
  • Changes in your personality such as becoming angry or anxious for no clear reason.
  • Lack of interest in your usual activities.
  • Changes in your sex drive.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or unsteadiness that makes standing or walking difficult

Reference

http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/traumatic-brain-injury-concussion-overview

By |Sunday, May 22, 2016|Blog, News|0 Comments

What is an EEG?

An EEG is a test that detects abnormalities in your brain waves, or in the electrical activity of your brain.

Why might I need an EEG?

The EEG is used to evaluate several types of brain disorders. When epilepsy is present, seizure activity will appear as rapid spiking waves on the EEG.

People with lesions of their brain, which can result from tumors or stroke, may have unusually slow EEG waves, depending on the size and the location of the lesion.

The test can also be used to diagnose other disorders that influence brain activity, such as Alzheimer’s disease, certain psychoses, and a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

The EEG may also be used to determine the overall electrical activity of the brain (for example, to evaluate trauma, drug intoxication, or extent of brain damage in comatose patients). The EEG may also be used to monitor blood flow in the brain during surgical procedures.

There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend an EEG.

Risks

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a very safe test. The electrical activity of your brain is recorded, but at no time is any electrical current put into your body. An EEG should not be confused with electroshock (electroconvulsive) therapy.

If you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy, a seizure may be triggered by the flashing lights or by hyperventilation. If this occurs, the technologist is trained to take care of you during the seizure.

Video

References

http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/electroencephalogram-eeg-21508?page=3

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/electroencephalogram_eeg_92,p07655/

By |Sunday, May 8, 2016|Blog, News|0 Comments

Spinal Pain

When is surgery necessary?

The role of surgery for metastatic spine tumors is to improve or maintain quality of life. There are a number of reasons why surgery would be a good treatment option for spine tumors:

  • Surgical cure, if tumor can be removed
  • Control of tumor growth by surgical removal, sometimes accompanied by radiation and/or chemotherapy
  • Alleviation of symptoms by reducing pressure on nerves and stabilizing spine to prevent deformities, collapse or paralysis

The goal is usually to reduce the severity of symptoms, including:

  • Reduction of pain
  • Restoration of spine stability to improve mobility
  • Preservation of neurological function
  • Alteration or change in prognosis

How do I know if I am a candidate for surgery?

  1. The following are factors that determine if you are a candidate for surgery:
  • Medically stable
  • Expected survival of three months or more
  • Extent of systemic disease

What are the surgical options?

The type of surgery your doctor recommends will depend on the type of tumor, its location and the symptoms you are experiencing.

Closed procedure (vertebroplasty): Using a needle, the surgeon injects special cement into the vertebral body damaged by the tumor.

Open procedures: If you have weakness, numbness or paralysis of arms and legs or a change in bladder or bowel function, an open surgical procedure may be necessary.  These procedures may be done with a surgical incision on the front or back

How long is the recovery period after surgery?

Your length of stay in the hospital will vary by the extent and type of surgery. A typical hospital stay after spinal tumor surgery is 5 to 10 days, although each person will respond differently and recover differently.

Following surgery, you may need help with activities of daily living. This is referred to as rehabilitation. Rehabilitation may be done in an inpatient setting, which means you are admitted to a rehab unit or hospital. It can also be done as an outpatient, which means you could receive therapy in your home or be transported to a rehab facility during the week.

Reference

http://cancer.osu.edu/patientsandvisitors/cancerinfo/cancertypes/spine_tumors/spine_tumors_faq/Pages/index.aspx

By |Wednesday, September 3, 2014|Blog, News|0 Comments