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What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue in the brain that can either be classified as benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A benign tumor usually grows slowly and does not spread to surrounding tissue whereas a malignant tumor can grow rapidly. All kinds of brain tumors can cause serious symptoms.

Primary brain tumors originate within the brain tissue. Secondary brain tumors or metastatic brain tumors develop from cancers originating from elsewhere in the body.

What are the different types of brain tumors?

There are over 150 different types of brain tumors. As a brain tumor surgeon in St. Louis, Dr. Vasudevan treats a diverse group of patients. What follows are some of the more frequent types of brain tumors seen at our practice.

Benign brain tumors

  • Meningiomas: a common tumor originating from the brain coverings called meninges. Most meningiomas are slow growing and benign but can become quite large and require surgical removal.

  • Pituitary adenomas: relatively common tumors that begin in the epithelial cells of the pituitary gland.

  • Epidermoid cyst:  also known as intracranial epidermoid tumors, these growths appear on the surface of the brain and can cause increasing pressure on surrounding brain structures.

  • Schwannomas: a tumor that occurs in Schwann cells, found in peripheral nerves. Schwannomas push nerve fibers aside and displace nerves instead of invading them.

  • Vestibular schwannoma: also known as an acoustic neuroma, these are found wrapped around the hearing and balance nerves serving the ear.

Malignant brain tumors

  • Gliomas: a highly prevalent primary brain tumor originating from glial cells. The glial cells have three different subtypes that account for different tumor types: astrocytomas, ependymomas, and oligodendrogliomas.

  • Glioblastoma: the most invasive and aggressive brain tumor in adults, they can spread rapidly through brain tissue. These often require surgery and other treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.

  • Metastatic tumors: tumors that originate elsewhere, such as the lung, breast, or colon, and spread to the brain. These can cause symptoms from involvement of brain structures.

What are the signs and symptoms of brain tumors?

Brain tumor symptoms can vary widely depending on the location of the tumor. The following are typical signs of a brain tumor:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Seizures

  • Dizziness

  • Convulsions

  • Severe headaches

  • Facial numbness or tingling

  • Feeling disoriented or confused

  • Changes in personality, vision, or hearing

  • Paralysis or weakness in a localized area

  • Trouble with thinking, talking, or swallowing

Most brain tumors occur by chance according to Dr. Vasudevan, brain tumor surgeon in St. Louis. There are a few known potential risk factors for developing a brain tumor, including a family history of brain tumors, exposure to radiation, and a prior cancer diagnosis.

How does our practice treat brain tumors?

Dr. Vasudevan, brain tumor surgeon in St. Louis, has advanced training in the comprehensive treatment of brain tumors. Through our relationship with the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis, multiple experts from different specialties are readily available to ensure that patients receive access to the best possible brain tumor care available today.

Your personal treatment will depend specifically on the size, location and type of brain tumor. Dr. Vasudevan will tailor treatment to your specific needs. Some treatment options include:

  • Craniotomy: a surgical method of removing brain tumors. It requires general anesthesia and computer-guided access into the skull to attack the tumor at its source.

  • Radiosurgery (SRS): an advanced, non-surgical method of delivering precisely-targeted radiation to tumors using imaging technologies in tandem with computer guidance.

  • Endoscopy: considered minimally invasive, thin tubing relays live video of the brain while the tumor is removed via specialized surgical instruments.

  • Keyhole surgery: minimally invasive technique that uses small incisions and tiny openings to remove certain brain tumors.

  • Additional minimally invasive surgical methods.

Why our practice?

With fellowship training and board certification from the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Kumar Vasudevan demonstrates specialized expertise and validates his competency. Patients can trust his advanced training, skills, and commitment to providing excellent care in neurosurgery. Dr. Vasudevan's experienced and compassionate approach, combined with his collaboration with multidisciplinary experts, can make a significant difference in the lives of those diagnosed with or experiencing symptoms of a brain tumor. Seek his expertise for yourself or your loved ones. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Brain Tumor Neurosurgeon in St. Louis - Kumar Vasudevan, MD

Brain Tumors


Specializing in a comprehensive, state-of-the-art approach for patients with all types of brain tumors and metastases.


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