Chandigarh’s PGI develops minimally invasive treatment of spinal cord tumours
Intradural spinal cord tumours are uncommon lesions. When these lesions grow, they result in compression of the spinal cord, which can cause limb dysfunction, motor and sensation loss, and can even lead to death.punjab Updated: Feb 20, 2018 17:14 IST
The neurosurgeons from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have developed a minimally invasive surgery to treat large (over 4cm in diameter) spinal cord tumours. Doctors say the surgery ensures minimal risk, early recovery and fewer complications.
A study – ‘Micro endoscopic’ vs ‘Pure endoscopic’ surgery for spinal intra dural mass lesions – conducted by Dr Sivashanmugam Dhandapani and Dr M Karthigeyan from PGIMER’s neurosurgery department, was published in the Spine Journal.
“The technique is probably one of the first in the world literature for minimally invasive neurosurgical spinal endoscopy of tumours as large as 7cm in diameter,” said Dr Dhandapani.
Intradural spinal cord tumours are uncommon lesions. When these lesions grow, they result in compression of the spinal cord, which can cause limb dysfunction, motor and sensation loss, and can even lead to death.
“Tumors around the spinal cord are very dangerous to operate and it is a very risky surgery and can lead to several complications as well,” said Dr Dhandapani.
Advantages over traditional surgery
Talking about the old methods of removing large tumours in the spinal cord, Dr Dhandapani said, “The old method of surgery used to involve long incisions, almost double the size of the tumour. After incision, all the muscles were separated and bone openings were made big so that the tumour could be removed.”
The minimally invasive spinal endoscopy results in clinical improvement and radiological resolution in patients.
“The old method of surgery involved a lot of risk. The patient would stay in bed for 7-8 days, there would be backache and swelling. Because some bones were removed, it would lead to deformity of spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid also used to come out of the spinal cord, leading to infections,” he said.
However, the new minimally invasive method has several advantages.
“The incision is smaller than the tumour. There is minimal dissection of skin, muscle and bones, because of which there are minimal complications. Hence, the patient is able to recuperate faster. The patient stay is reduced to one-two days,” the doctor said.
He said the new technique costs around Rs 15,000 as compared to the old one costing around Rs 25,000.
Treatment very effective: Docs
“We started using the technique around four years ago and have operated upon 34 patients in the last three years. All of them are doing fine,” Dr Dhandapani said.
The neurosurgeons used the gadgets which were predominately devised for bony lesions like disc removal. In the beginning, they treated tumours 4cm in diameter and then tumours as large as 7cm.