Technical nuances for surgery of insular gliomas: lessons learned

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Neurosurgical Focus Feb 2013 / Vol. 34 / No. 2 / Page E6

Insular gliomas were traditionally considered a nonsurgical entity due to the high morbidity associated with resection. For the past 20 years, advances in microsurgical and brain mapping techniques have allowed neurosurgeons to resect insular gliomas with acceptable morbidity rates. Maximizing the extent of resection is nowadays the goal of surgery since this has proven to be an independent factor contributing to longer survival. Despite much progress, insular tumors remain a challenge for the neurosurgeon due to the complex anatomy of the region and technical expertise required to minimize morbidity during surgery.

Herein, the authors describe the current surgical nuances, based on their experience and a literature review, that will allow the surgeon to achieve a thorough resection while ensuring patient safety. The key factors for successful surgery in the insular region include detailed knowledge of the surgical anatomy, mastery of the nuances of cortical and subcortical mapping methods, and meticulous microsurgical technique.

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