Hemangioblastoma Treatment in Southern California

Hemangioblastoma is a rare and benign tumor that arise in blood vessels of the brain and spinal cord and often found in the cerebellum and the brainstem in the lower back section of the skull (posterior cranial fossa). This slow-growing tumor sometimes go undetected for months or years. It poses a threat of rupturing because its located in the blood vessel. Hemangioblastoma occurs twice more common in men than in women and rarely occurs in children.

While there is no known cause for most hemangioblastoma. However, there are findings that link it to a genetic syndrome called von Hippel-Lindau disease, a condition that also includes vascular abnormalities in the retinas and an increased risk of developing cancers kidneys, adrenal glands and pancreas.

Because it develops slowly, hemangioblastoma symptoms tend to worsen gradually over a long period of time. Individual symptoms varies, depending on the size of the tumor, location or which area of the brain is compromised. Symtoms can range from mild to sever or life-threatening:

  • Headache
  • Sensory Loss
  • Movement coordination problem
  • Facial muscle paralysis
  • Hydrocephalus

Because hemangioblastomas may occur spontaneously or be related to a genetic disorder, your neurosurgeons at ONE™ Brain & Spine Center™ will conduct a very thorough examinations to determine if any other tumors or conditions exist. In addition to performing a complete physical exam and medical history, special imaging studies of the brain, spinal cord and body will be required. Angiography may be used to view the details of the blood vessel or vessels involved, which can be valuable in treatment planning and surgery.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI shows the soft tissues of the body and gives clearer picture of the brain and skull base and spine.
Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)- Combined CT scan and myleography produces image that clearly show both the bone structures of the spine and the nerve structures
Angiography – A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain hormones released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body.
Biopsy- Minimally invasive nature of fine needle aspiration biopsy may be required to confirm hemangioblastoma diagnosis.

ONE® Brain & Spine Center® treats hemangioblastoma with minimally invasive surgical removal using the retromastoid craniotomy. To treat residual tumors, follow up treatment with radiosurgery or stereotactic radiotherapy is relatively effective. Patients diagnosed with hemangioblastoma should also have a complete evaluation for Von Hippel-Lindau disease. Your Southern California neurosurgeons have the experience, education and training in using this minimally invasive approach for the removal of hemangioblastoma. Hemangioblastoma associated with the rare von Hippel-Lindau disease frequently recur after surgical removal and radiosurgery, especially with the Gamma Knife, is a better option in some cases. Chemotherapy to stop tumor-feeding blood vessel growth may also be prescribed.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments

  • Retromastoid Craniotomy- This minimally invasive procedure is performed through an incision behind the ear to create a small bony opening to access tumors or lesions located in the back areas of the brain, where the brainstem and major nerves are located. Read more about ➲
  • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery- Non-invasive treatment that delivers 192 precisely focused beams of gamma radiation to small targets inside the brain. Read more about Gamma Knife ➲

Offering the latest in innovative, minimally invasive spine procedures and orthopedic care in Southern California, the team at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® is focused on helping our patients live the best life possible while making informed decisions about their healthcare. Call (949) 383-4190 or Contact Us today for an appointment.