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A neurosurgeon using pencil pointing at lumbar vertebra model in medical office

Spinal tumor surgery requires a significant amount of precision. While tumors that are in close proximity to the spinal cord can often be removed, a surgeon must take special care to not injure the spinal cord or other major nerves in the spine.

There are several different techniques that a surgeon can use when performing spinal tumor surgery. For instance, a surgeon might:

  • Remove the entire tumor in a single piece, in a procedure known as an en bloc resection
  • Remove the tumor through an incision in the back, an approach that provides enhanced visibility of the nerve roots
  • Remove the tumor through a series of small incisions, using a minimally invasive approach to reduce the risk of scarring, infection and other complications
  • Reduce the risk of blood loss during surgery by injecting small beads of a glue-like liquid into the blood vessels that feed the tumor, a technique known as embolization

Moffitt’s Minimally Invasive Spine Oncology (M-MISO) Program is at the forefront of the latest surgical techniques that not only provide pain relief with spinal stability but also help restore the brain and nervous system functions. These state-of-the-art techniques include:

  • Cement augmentation (kyphoplasty) – Performed as an outpatient procedure, cement augmentation can be extremely effective for reducing pain. This procedure is used for painful compression fractures from metastatic disease or multiple myeloma.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – This procedure uses thermal ablation to treat tumors within the spine and can be performed in conjunction with cement augmentation for additional pain management. Moffitt has collaborated with industry partners to develop the first use of RFA for the treatment of painful spine metastasis.
  • Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation with cement augmentation - This procedure avoids the need for a large surgical incision or cut. When metastatic disease involves the rear of the spinal column beyond just the vertebra, percutaneous pedicle screw fixation can be used to stabilize the spine through small incisions for each screw.

Our high-trained and skilled neurosurgeons can determine the most appropriate type of minimally-invasive procedure for spinal cancer patients. As a result, our patients will benefit from smaller incisions, minimal blood loss, short recovery times and an enhanced quality of life.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our neurosurgeons perform a high volume of complex spinal tumor surgeries every year. And, because the neurosurgeons in our Neuro-Oncology Program specialize in treating tumors of the spine, brain and skull base, they are highly experienced in operating within these delicate spaces.  Patients are welcome to seek treatment at Moffitt with or without referrals. To learn more about the options we offer for spinal tumor surgery, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.