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For more than 20 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has recognized UCLA’s Neurosurgery program as one of the nation’s best.
Brain Tumor Surgery at UCLA: Why Choose Us
Although the prospect of surgery may seem frightening, you can breathe easier knowing we successfully perform more than 500 brain tumor surgeries each year. Our depth of experience allows us to successfully operate on tumors that were previously thought to be inoperable.
Highlights of our program include:
- Expertise: Our team includes four neurosurgeons dedicated to treating brain tumors. We also work with neurosurgical anesthesiologists who make your procedure as safe and comfortable as possible.
- Advanced techniques: UCLA is home to one of the few surgeons in the world specializing in intraoperative (during surgery) functional mapping. This technique allows us to be as precise as possible when operating on tumors near areas that control critical functions, such those tied to hearing and music comprehension.
- Technology: UCLA was one of the first hospitals with an intraoperative imaging suite dedicated to brain tumor patients. This setup allows us to work with real-time images of your brain and ensures a high level of precision.
- Minimally invasive surgery: Depending on the size and location of the tumor, we may be able to avoid cutting the skull (craniotomy). We offer all the latest procedures for minimally invasive brain tumor surgery.
UCLA Brain Tumor Center: Advanced Neurosurgery Capabilities
We use advanced imaging and sophisticated surgical techniques to perform the safest, most effective surgery for the tumor. These capabilities, many of which were pioneered at UCLA, are part of what make our program one of the best in the country.
Our advanced neurosurgery capabilities include:
Brain Function Mapping
We use an imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to create a road map of the tumor in relation to critical function areas. This approach helps us avoid disrupting these areas during surgery. Physicians at UCLA helped pioneer fMRI. Learn more about the UCLA Brain Mapping Center.
If a tumor is located near a critical function area, such as speech, we may wake you during surgery for testing while we remove the tumor. Neurosurgeons at UCLA pioneered awake craniotomy. This technique allows us to carry out your procedure with minimal discomfort and a high level of precision.
We perform awake craniotomy with the help of anesthesiologists who specialize in brain surgery procedures (neuroanesthesiologists). You will be asleep and not be able to feel any sensation during the non-testing portion of your procedure.
Having Brain Tumor Surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Brain surgery is often the first step in treating a brain tumor. You may need surgery to:
- Remove or destroy tumor tissue
- Collect a tissue sample (biopsy) to confirm your diagnosis
- Relieve pressure inside your skull
- Create access to the tumor so you can have chemotherapy and radiation
Learn more about preparing for surgery.
After your procedure, you may recover in our specialized neuro intensive care unit (ICU). Here, an elite team of neuroscience nurses, respiratory therapists and brain monitoring technologists deliver around-the-clock-care. Learn more about our Neurocritical Care Program.