LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ — One of the most
difficult-to-remove tumors located deep in the midbrain area can
now be safely excised thanks to the work of one Los Angeles
Shahinian, M.D., medical director of the Skull Base Institute
in Los Angeles, has developed a minimally invasive approach to
removing pineal tumors, so called for their pinecone shape. The new
procedure is expected to replace the more invasive open brain
approach favored by neurosurgeons, which leaves patients more
vulnerable to brain damage and other side effects as well as long
and difficult recoveries. Shahinian says his patients are enjoying
healthier asymptomatic lives not to mention much shorter treatment
and recovery times.
More common in children (average age of diagnosis is 13), pineal
tumors can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, visual impairments,
double vision, memory problems, seizures and, in children,
precocious puberty. While 20% of pineal tumors are benign or
relatively benign, 80% are highly malignant and their exact cause
is unknown. Even benign tumors can be problematic as they can press
on nearby brain structures causing painful and serious
The new procedure involves making a dime-size opening behind the
ear, inserting a small endoscope over the top of the cerebellum and
accessing the deep-seated pineal tumor through a natural pathway.
This eliminates the need for metal retractors or going through
brain tissue to reach the problem area.
“I’m delighted that my endoscopic approach is bringing hope and
relief to patients suffering from pineal tumors,” said Dr.
Hrayr Shahinian. “For patients suffering from significant
symptoms, open brain surgery is often the first option. When
surgery is required, this minimally invasive approach is an
excellent and safe alternative and results in much short