Having cystic, calcified and hard parts, craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor which develops from remnant cells like in teeth development and presses on the hypothalamus region of the brain having many different types of cells, outside the brain tissue, neighboring to the pituitary gland and optic nerves.
Who can get craniopharyngioma?
It occurs mostly in children, sometimes in adults in their 50s and 60s.
What are the symptoms of craniopharyngioma?
It is adjacency to important organs causes various symptoms to emerge. Compressing on hypothalamus and pituitary gland, craniopharyngioma causes retardation in physical and sexual development, loss of vision that might lead to blindness if it compresses on the optic nerve, blocking of hydrocephalus (widening of the water reservoir of the brain, push against brain) if compresses on the third ventricle, the paralysis of cranial nerves if it compresses on the brain stem, and it finally causes death.
What is the treatment applied by Dr. Yunus Aydın?
It is the most accepted method worldwide to completely remove the tumor with microsurgical method and then to restore hormone deficiencies. On the contrary, some suggest a partial removal to avoid the risk of damaging which a complete removal might cause on the hypothalamus, however in the long term, the tumor itself will commit what is afraid of. The issues that develop after surgery are generally associated with the surgeon’s manipulation, and the relatives of the patient may not always meet those in an understanding way. However, if the tumor causes the same damages in its natural course of life, then it would be the tumor to blame and the surgeon would not have to face the charges. This balance should be maintained carefully. This is a surgery to be performed by experienced surgeons. And experienced surgeons must perform it in hospitals that have good intensive care conditions. It should be done with a team who has knowledge and experience to be able to meet many hypothalamic problems that might arise the next day after surgery.
The surgery poses many risks including death. It is a work to be performed with contributions of the experts from various fields such as endocrinology (particularly for restoring the hormone deficiencies), from psychiatric support, and from family education. So far, our general results have been good enough and have been in accordance with the good series in the literature, so we will continue performing this work.
What are the other treatment methods for craniopharyngioma?
There are those surgeons who apply gamma rays on the tumor remnants; however the results do not seem to achieve the desired level. If tumor is blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, shunt operations would help reduce the cranial pressure.
What if craniopharyngioma is not treated?
Damages develop depending on the developing and growing direction of craniopharyngioma: loss of vision, retardation in sexual and physical development, disorders dependent on increases in intracranial pressure, and death.