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Cranial Surgery

In addition to brain tumors, Piedmont Medical Center treats a variety of brain-and-skull related disorders and injuries, to include:

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Brain Tumor Resection and Biopsy
  • Subdural Hematoma and Epidural Hematoma

Hydrocephalus:

Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. This can be caused by a variety of brain and spinal cord disorders. If it cannot be identified, the condition is complexly known as Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, or NPH. Symptoms of NPH resemble those of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Disease and can include:

  • Gait Disturbances
  • Forgetfulness or Mild Dementia
  • Urinary Incontinence

Hydrocephalus is treated by the implant known as a CSF shunt. This device is designed to drain excess CSF in the brain to other parts of the body where it can be reabsorbed into the blood stream.

Pituitary Tumors:

Pituitary tumors represent 10-15% of intracranial tumors diagnosed each year in the United States. A normal pituitary gland serves the vital function of producing hormones. Most pituitary tumors are benign, a pituitary tumor can cause problem due to their size or its production of excessive hormones. Common symptoms of the pituitary tumor include:

  • Loss of vision, mostly peripheral vision
  • Headache
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone level)
  • Adrenal insufficiency (low cortisol level)
  • Hypogonadism
  • Diabetes insipidus (resulting in frequent urination and excessive thirst)

The effects of pituitary tumors depend upon the size and what gland is affected. Diagnosis may begin with a medical examination and the measurement of hormone levels in the blood. A CT scan and MRI can then confirm the exact location of the tumor. From there, a treatment plan is created for you by the neurosurgeon.

Trigeminal Neuralgia:

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve that causes intense stabbing pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve distribute. These areas include the lips, eyes, nose and lower and upper jaw. Most commonly, this disorder affects one side of the face, but some patients experience pain on both sides of the face at different times. Trigeminal Neuralgia is the most common form of neurologic face pain in the geriatric population. Over time, this pain can affect daily activities such as brushing teeth, chewing or simply touching impacted skin.

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