Focusing on You: Brain Tumor Patients Return to Normal Life After Surgery

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Surgeon performs operation to remove meningiomas.

Jacques Morcos, M.D., FRCS, FAANS, director of skull base and cerebrovascular surgery at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System, explains what a meningioma is, how this type of tumor can affect a patient, and the surgical techniques involved in removing them. Dean Metzler is one of those patients.


 

DEAN’S STORY:

When Dean Metzler’s personality drastically changed from easygoing to short-tempered, his wife of 30 years didn’t know what was going on.

“All of a sudden he was very angry all the time. Angry to the point of slamming things. It was so not him,” says Candelle Metzler.

An MRI revealed Dean had an orange-sized tumor pressing on his frontal lobe. Dr. Jacques Morcos diagnosed Dean with a meningioma.

“Most meningiomas are benign. Only 1% of them are cancers,” says Dr. Morcos. “If a tumor meningioma is right here, it will affect the left side of the body. If it's on the front of the brain, it will affect personality. If it's on top of the optic nerves, it would affect your vision.”

“Doctor, how do you treat these types of tumors?” asks anchor Pam Giganti.

“Surgery requires what's called skull-based techniques. It's an incision at the top of the head and we need to be able to drill the bone at the base of the skull to preserve the brain,” Dr. Morcos says.

Dean underwent a 10-½ hour surgery where Dr. Morcos and his team of specialists were able to remove 100% of his tumor.

“We are really the team to come to, because we have all the talent under one roof,” says Dr. Morcos.

Candelle says she finally has her husband back.

“He's fun-loving, he's loving again, and patient and fun. The man I knew and married,” says Candelle.

“I'm thankful to still be able to be here and be a part of my family,” Dean says.