My operation was done with a new technique called navigation-aided surgery, whereby a virtual-reality system is employed to support the operating procedure. Basically, MRI and CTI images were used as a guide to the inside of my brain. This enabled the neurosurgeons to precisely navigate and to use minimally invasive techniques to remove the tumour.
Now this was something they didn’t tell me beforehand, but in order to align my head with the navigation system, I was screwed (literally!) into a head vice. Three holes were drilled into either side of my head just above the ears to fix the instrument. No movement possible anymore – think mediaeval torture device!
They also did a couple of other unspeakable things to me, including sticking tubes into just about every orifice in my body. Then a seventh, rather smallish hole was drilled into the back of my head through which the tumour was cut up and extracted piece by piece. The whole operation took about six hours including preparation.
I plan to read up more on this new procedure, as I find the combination of the surgeons’ craftsmanship, the computer technology and the micro technology used for the surgical tools absolutely mind-boggling.
On another front, I will meet the radio-oncologists for the first time next week in order to discuss a course of action. I have also received an incredible amount of information and links from many of you, which I am going to research. Thanks for all your support!
One promising bit of information regarding glioblastomas comes from Duke University, according to this recent article in the “Economist”.