Spinal Tumors Surgery

When is surgery required?

  • Non-operative treatment fails to relieve pain
  • When a progressive neurologic deficit is observed
  • When an open biopsy is required for diagnosis
  • When tumor resection may help to reduce neurologic damage
  • When vertebral destruction is evident, leading to significant spinal instability

Surgical decision making includes consideration of the risk of infection and/or wound healing problems:

  • The patient’s nutritional health, immunity, and pulmonary status are all carefully evaluated.
  • Healing would be compromised if the patient has recently experienced chemotherapy or radiation, thus lowering the white blood cell count and lessening the body’s ability to fight the infection.
  • Appetite can be greatly affected by cancer, leading to significant weight loss and a deterioration of general health.
  • Healthy lung function is required to adequately oxygenate blood to help wound healing.

Whether the course of treatment prescribed is operative or non-operative, periodic physician visits are required. Remember the goal in cancer treatment is to maintain the quality of life to the greatest degree possible given the circumstances of the disease.

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