16-hour surgery


“I was a patient here in 2006 for a 16-hour resection of a brain tumor,” says Brad Lusk, a 68-year-old neurosurgery patient who was running 60 miles per week prior to finding out he had a growing meningioma tumor. “The better shape you’re in when you go in for surgery or treatment, the better you’re going to come out. I was fortunate to have Dr. Linda Liau perform my surgery. She’s one of the real superstars of UCLA. Because of the position of the meningioma tumor on my brain, they were able to remove 95 percent of it, but there was a little thumbnail piece they couldn’t take out.” Inoperable because of the location, Brad had 31 focused radiation beam treatments, which disrupt the DNA cells in the tumor to stop it from growing. In February 2016, the tumor started to grow again. “So I went in for 31 more radiation visits,” explains Brad. He continues, chuckling, “If you have to go through something as intimidating and frightening as having your head popped open like a pumpkin while they work on your brain, UCLA is the place to go, definitely.”