What would be scarier for you? Finding out the cancer you fought off twice is back or finding out you have to undergo brain surgery? For a northwest Iowa woman she had to deal with both. But her neurosurgeon was armed with high tech equipment to minimize the danger and get all the tumor. Image guided brain surgery is this Avera Medical Minute.
52 year old Beverly Netten from Hull, Iowa never saw a doctor, never took a pill until her children were born. That was until 2001. Now she sees oncologists, radiologists and a neurosurgeon far more often than she would like. She has a type of cancer that keeps coming back. She says, " I had headaches. I was warned the tumor would come to my head."
Beverly's cancer started in her breast. She had the tumor removed and underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation. She went into remission but the cancer came back in her lungs, eventually it went to her brain. She is now recovering from her 2nd brain surgery. Dr. Michael Puumala is Beverly's neurosurgeon. Puumala Neurology is located in the Physicians Office Building on the campus of Avera McKennan Hospital.
Beverly says, "Yeah, yeah it is scary. But I trust Dr. Puumala. He reassured me more than once that he does this everyday." She says she's just glad she doesn't have to go through it everyday. Dr. Puumala removed Beverly's first brain tumor through standard methods. The second tumor was removed through image guided brain surgery. The state of the art equipment uses a computer and a camera to map out a replica of Beverly's brain to act as a navigation system.
The doctor says, "We wanted to take out a small piece of the tumor and we wanted to make sure we were in the right exact spot so for her 2nd surgery we used a special machine and computer system to map out where we were and where the lesion was so we could do so precisely."
Beverly says she actually prefers brain surgery to radiation and chemo. She got so sick from the treatment but she says the pain from brain surgery has been minimal. "I don't know if it's going to come back. It's part of what I deal with. The cancer I have likes to go. I will never get rid of it, " She adds. Other than having trouble counting money and remembering to shut off the faucet, she says is doing remarkably well. He husband Duane and son Nicholas agree.
Questions? Call 877-at-AVERA or go to www.averamckennan.com