Meningiomas are benign brain tumors and represent approximately 30% of all brain tumors. Meningiomas are more common in women, especially in middle-aged patients, where the prevalence in women is 3:1. Interestingly, meningiomas don’t actually infiltrate the brain; rather they grow on the outer covering of the brain called the meninges. Most meningiomas are frequently slow growing, and may not cause any symptoms until they are of significant size. In other cases, however, the meningioma may grow quickly or have a sudden growth spurt.
Dr. Bovis frequently sees patients in his office who have been diagnosed with a meningioma as a result of a MRI scan performed of the brain for another reason. These patients have no symptoms related to the meningioma. For these patients, watchful waiting may be an appropriate treatment. Dr. Bovis closely monitors these patients with frequent office visits and imaging studies.
The symptoms of meningiomas are dependent on the exact size and location of the meningioma. Typically, these symptoms include seizures, headache, weakness, clumsiness, vision loss and personality changes. Many patients with meningiomas may suffer subtle symptoms before they are diagnosed. Diagnosis is made using a CT or MRI scan.
For patients with meningiomas that are causing symptoms, Dr. Bovis may discuss surgical removal of the tumor. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, and its proximity to vital structures, including major blood vessels and eloquent brain tissue (areas that control important functions), the approach and goals of surgery may vary. Dr. Bovis will perform surgery to remove the meningioma with the assistance of intraoperative imaging, electrophysiological monitoring, and sophisticated navigation software, which helps him plan and proceed safely with the surgery. These tools also are invaluable to gauge the completeness and resulting success of the surgical resection before leaving the operating room.
Dr. Bovis performs surgery to treat meningiomas at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Alexian Brothers Medical Center. He also welcomes questions about meningiomas. Prospective patients are welcome to call (847) 698-1088 to schedule an appointment.