Surgery may be required for patients with very large tumours causing severe brain compression and increased brain pressure.
A neurosurgeon and sometimes a ear, nose and throat surgeon will determine if surgery is suitable, depending on the size and location of the tumour, and the health of the patient.
During surgery, fat or muscle may be taken from the abdomen or thigh to close the wound. After surgery, thepatient will usually spend one to several days in the intensive care unit for monitoring and treatment.
Depending on the location of the tumour, side effects of the surgery may include hearing loss, facial weakness, paralysis, double vision, swallowing problems, mouth dryness, and unsteadiness.
The likelihood of unexpected complications is generally low but include infection, bleeding, stroke, seizures, paralysis of limbs, coma and death.
Smaller tumours are usually treated by radiation. A high and precise dose of radiation is aimed at the tumour, with no or low damage to surrounding brain structures.