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.