I have a large tumor - Sphenoid meningioma with cavernous sinus, carotid artery and optic nerve involved. 40% of of the tumor is operable (crainiotomy on the middle fossa) and 60% is inoperable (canvernous sinus), which would be handled by radiation. Of the 9 neurosurgeons I've interviewed, everyone tells me this is a difficult procedure, risky because of the cavernous sinus and carotid artery which is full encased by tumor. The other risk involves losing my vision in one eye. I am trying to decide between two Neurosurgeons, Steve Gianotta at USC and Neil Martin at UCLA. Can you please advise me which one might be better for me. I am tortured about this decision. If you could please advise I would be grateful.
You may have made the decision at this point. if not, I would be happy to review your imaging (MRI, CT etc) and try to help with some advice since I am a neurosurgeon specialized in skull base surgery.
Both neurosurgeons you mentioned have a great reputation.
While I'm not an "expert" I was in a very similar position only a few months back and would be happy to chat with you anytime. I found out early in June that I had a Dermoid Skull Base tumor from an MRI I was having done for an unrelated issue. A Dermoid is an adhesive tumor and mine was in the Sella Turcica putting pressure on my pituitary gland, pituitary stalk, optic nerve, optic chiasm, and encasing my internal carotid artery. I have a meningioma also but it's very small and not in a place that is doing any harm...the Dermoid was causing me to lose vision in my right eye, headaches, dizzy spells, and would eventually have caused more problems. I started doing my research and found that it would HIGHLY benefit me to find a Skull Base NS rather than just any NS...which was the best decision I ever made. So you're on the right path in doing your research on docs. Wish I could offer some advice there but I'm on the other side of the country. If you call the National Brain Tumor Society there is a nurse there who knows a lot about lots of the NS's across the country.
I went from watch and wait to the recommendation of surgery all before July was over. So mine moved pretty fast...I was the most worried about losing my sight and he didn't think he would be able to get the part around the ICA. Immediately after the surgery my vision was very blurry for quite a while due to swelling but it is better now than it was before!! My NS was in fact able to remove the tumor from my ICA and a recent MRI shows no residual tumor that they could see!
Now, being on the other side of the surgery I'm more than happy with my decision in going ahead...As I said before though if you have any questions I can help you with or just want to chat with someone who's been there very recently feel free to pm me.
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