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Another craniotomy?

Posted By ggd on December 20, 1998 at 00:03:04:

You have answered some questions for me in the past few months and I am still working on the same problem.  After having my first seizure, which prompted an MRI, a large mass was found in my left temporal lobe. The neurosurgeon diagnosed this as a low grade glioma and performed a craniotomy.  The plan was to confirm diagnosis and remove the "core" of the tumor.  During the surgery, the immediate biopsy came back normal.  The surgeon said he could not "see a tumor".  The MRI done 2 months later still showed a large mass.  The doctor doing the MRI report stated that the biopsy samples had missed the mass (explaining why they came back normal).  The neurosurgeon does not believe he could have missed the tumor (4x4x5cm).  Something I don't understand...When you are performing a craniotomy, how big of an area can you actually see?  Can you physically tell the difference between a tumor and normal brain tissue with just your normal eyesight?
I have gone to a second opinion who thinks it is very important to get this diagnosed.  His suggestion is to have a needle biopsy.  If it is a glioma, do another craniotomy to remove as much as possible.  If the biopsy were to come back again as normal (I think he does not expect this), then he would still suggest a cranitomy to get a more accurate biopsy.  If the craniotomy is the plan either way, why go through the needle biopsy?  This is very difficult to decide since I had a craniotomy 3 months ago for basically the same reason.  I don't know if the first surgeon made an error in the location or the second surgery would produce the same results.  What would you do if it was your head?
Thank you very much for any input.  I find this forum extremely helpful.
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