Italian team removes rare brain tumour via microsurgery

Italian team removes rare brain tumour via microsurgery

A team at the Mater Olbia Hospital in Sardinia has successfully performed a craniotomy to remove a rare brain tumour using a minimally invasive microsurgical technique, the hospital said in a statement on Thursday.

The foramen magnum meningioma operation, which was very delicate due to the brainstem location and the large size of the tumour, was carried out on Tuesday 16 June and lasted over eight hours, according to the statement.

"The treated patient is a 68-year-old lady from the province of Sassari who had a meningioma located near the foramen magnum, which had been in close contact with the brain stem since 2014," said world-renowned neurosurgeon Professor Alessandro Olivi.

"The patient is now doing very well," Olivi said, adding that the day after the operation she was "able to communicate and complete simple tasks".

Olivi, director of the Polyclinic University Foundation Agostino Gemelli (IRCCS)'s complex neurosurgery unit, coordinated Tuesday's operation with Giovanni Sabatino, head of the Mater Olbia hospital's neurosurgery department, according to the statement.

"The operation is one of the most complex of those that can be performed today in neurosurgery. The deep location of the lesion and the tumour's location right next to the brain stem made surgery very difficult," said Olivi.

The centres that control vital functions respiratory, cardiovascular, eye, auditory and motor movements are located in the brain stem, he noted.

Olivi attributed the success of the operation to the Mater Olbia's neurosurgery department including the state-of-the-art microscopes in its operating theatre and its intraoperative three-dimensional CT scanners.

Mater Olbia is the result of a partnership between the Qatar Foundation Endowment and IRCCS in Rome.