Revolutionary Skull-Based Surgery Removes Tumors Without The Scars

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Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974

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jchadwick@kumc.edu

            It all started with a stuffy nose that wouldn’t go away. Then Sarah Sanders started feeling a pain in her cheek. When she went to her Topeka doctor, he had stunning news…she had a tumor the size of a fist growing next to her nose and pushing on her brain. He sent her to one of the few places in the country that could help her, The University of Kansas Health System.

            Sarah was a perfect candidate for a revolutionary procedure that allows surgeons to remove skull-based tumors through the patient’s nose with a small incision above the lip. Traditional methods call for creating a large incision and pulling back much of the skin and tissue to reach a tumor located on the bottom part of the skull. Some surgeons even consider such tumors “inoperable.” But with this procedure, the patient is out of the hospital much quicker, and in many cases, back to work in a week or so…unlike the month-long recovery with the traditional method.

            In the video, Dr. Alex Chiu, a head and neck surgeon at The University of Kansas Health System, describes Sarah’s condition and the problems it was causing, especially given its difficult location. He describes the procedure and how he teamed up with colleagues from neurosurgery to remove the non-cancerous tumor and help Sarah to a full recovery.

            Also on the video is Dr. Paul Camarata, a neurosurgeon at The University of Kansas Health System, who removed the actual tumor after Dr. Chiu created the access through the non-invasive procedure. He says this method allows for much easier tumor removal from previously hard-to-reach areas.

            The patient, Sarah Sanders, is also on the video. She explains what it felt like before her procedure, and how relieved she is to have the tumor removed. She is also thrilled that there is no visible scar from the procedure.

            The video also shows TV friendly video from Sarah’s skull-based surgical procedure.