Meningiomas or surface brain tumors are the second most common primary tumors affecting the central nervous system. Meningiomas grow from cells of the middle layer of the meninges (the three membranes enveloping and protecting the brain and spinal cord). They often are found at the surface of the brain near the top of the head, at the base of the skull, and along the spinal cord.
Meningiomas grow very slowly and conform to the space around them, often going undetected for years. However, this also means they may grow to be very large before causing any noticeable symptoms. Symptoms eventually occur when a tumor puts pressure on brain tissue or other structures like the optic nerve (which controls sight) or important veins that allow blood to flow within the brain. Common symptoms include: Headache, Nausea and/or vomiting, seizures, muscle weakness, loss of movement or sensation in a specific area, confusion, changes in mood and sleep, vision problems like blurriness or double-vision, hearing loss and slurred speech
Diagnosis is by MRI and neuro vascular angiography. Sometimes a CT scan is obtained to evaluate whether there is any bone (skull) involvement, or if the tumor is calcified.
Treatment plans involve observation and surgery. In some patient where tumors are very small and asymptomatic or where patient’s age is advanced and surgery is risky doctor may choose to observe and provide symptomatic treatment for pains and seizures.
Surgery for meningiomas may vary from relatively straightforward to highly complex, sometimes requiring multiple surgeons from different specialties. The ease of removal depends upon both their accessibility and the skill of the neurosurgeon. Manipal hospitals neurosurgeons have extensive experience in removing all types of meningiomas