Meningiomas are the most common benign brain tumors, though in rare cases, they can become cancerous. The preferred treatment for a meningioma is surgery to remove the tumor. With fellowship training in skull base and vascular surgery, Bülent Yapicilar, MD, at Nova Neuroscience is highly qualified and has years of experience performing complex surgery to treat meningiomas. To receive personalized care and attention for a meningioma, call one of the offices in Vienna or Woodbridge, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online.
A meningioma is a tumor that develops in the meninges, which are the membranes that surround and protect your brain and spinal cord.
Meningiomas are typically benign. However, as they grow, they place pressure on your brain and spinal cord, causing damage and potentially becoming life-threatening.
There are 15 different subtypes of meningiomas, which are classified according to their cell type. Some types are atypical, but less than 2% are malignant. These atypical meningiomas grow faster, have more cellular abnormalities, and are more likely to invade the brain.
Most patients only have one meningioma. However, it’s possible to have several tumors in different parts of the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms you experience depend on the location and size of the tumor.
As a group, meningiomas cause a wide variety of symptoms, including:
Depending on where your tumor is located, you could develop diverse symptoms such as trouble walking or facial pain called trigeminal neuralgia.
If you have a small meningioma and mild symptoms, Dr. Yapicilar may recommend monitoring the tumor to watch its growth rate and determine when surgery is needed. Otherwise, the primary treatment for meningioma is surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging essential structures.
Before your surgery, Dr. Yapicilar may perform a pre-operative embolization. This procedure stops blood flow to the tumor, making it safer to remove.
Dr. Yapicilar has extensive experience using techniques to precisely locate the tumor, avoid vital tissues, and confirm the amount of tumor he removes. For example, he may use a functional MRI to map the brain, use real-time image guidance during surgery, or perform minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.
If your tumor is close to vital nerves or blood vessels, Dr. Yapicilar removes as much of the tumor as possible, then performs routine imaging to monitor its growth.
Patients who can’t have surgery due to the location of the tumor or who still have some of the tumor remaining after surgery may be good candidates for radiation therapy to shrink the tumor.
If you develop a sudden or persistent headache or any other symptoms of a meningioma, call Nova Neuroscience or schedule an appointment online.