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Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center working to remove brain tumors through the nose

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WINSTON, SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest Baptist Medical center neurosurgeons and Otolaryngologists are working together to safely remove brain tumors through the nose, providing patients with a less invasive surgery.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Rashid Janjua said the procedure that has been used for about two years at the medical center is a team effort between the two doctors accessing the brain without cutting directly into the skull.

"The technique that we have perfected over here, and we are the only ones in the Triad who are doing it, is that, with tiny camera they go from nostril up to the base of the skull, allowing me to then go into the brain," Dr. Janjua said.

Depending on the patient, the procedure lasts about four hours and the recovery time is half of the common skull incision method.

"Often that's an incision across the forehead, peeling the skin down, drilling through the frontal bone and actually contracting the brain up to get the tumors that sit underneath the brain," said Dr. Drew Plonk.

Though there is no possible way to prevent pituitary tumors in the brain, it was a routine eye exam that alarmed doctors to the benign tumor in the brain of Wytheville, Virginia resident Donna Crigger.

Three weeks post-surgery, Crigger is recovering well and is thankful to both Dr. Plonk and Dr. Janjua.