Burr Hole Surgery?

  • 2 replies
  • 3 subscribers

Hi Macmillan Community,

A more direct question I have regarding secondary Brain Cancer treatment is:- Has anybody experienced or know of anyone that has experienced Burr hole treatment whereby a hole is drilled through the skull and into the tumour to drain the fluid, the plan being to reduce the tumour size before radiotherapy? I'm trying to help my wife whether to decide whether to take the risk of Burr hole surgery followed by Cyber Knife or just go straight fir Cyber Knife and hope that the reduction is enough to give her more quality time. Thanks as always.

  • Hi Jason, 

    i didn’t have have the surgery you describe but hopefully my surgery story will provide some reassurance. My initial diagnosis with brain mets happened when I presented at a&e with headaches, visual disturbance and reaching for words. Given my history of breast cancer they gave me a ct scan that showed 1 lesion (later in the mri revealed 2) I spent nearly a week in hospital thinking the worst, dosed up on steroids, desperately searching for stories with a positive outcome. 

    I was offered what they described to me as an aggressive course of treatment, double craniotomy to remove both lesions, followed by srs. I was admitted on Thursday evening, had the op Friday afternoon, was kept in the high dependency unit overnight (I was easily the most well person in there!) before transferring to the neurosurgery ward sat morning. I was pronounced fit to leave Monday morning and was at my daughters sports day Monday afternoon aided by steroids!

    My second craniotomy was even more straight forward. Admitted Thursday morning, down to surgery at 12, came round about 3, up to the ward observed overnight discharged friday lunchtime.

    what I’m trying to say is that without diminishing it brain surgery isn’t as bad as you might think. If you are otherwise fit and well the risks are minimal. Based on my experience they only offer surgery, if they think it will be of benefit and to give the best chance of a positive outcome.


  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to Katherine80

    Thanks for this further detail Katherine,

    Everything is happening so quickly an then we had the bank holiday weekend which turned into a period of reflection and at this time it would seem the concentration was on the small negative possibilities that were expressed during consultation. Your comments have put this into perspective and my wife has taken encouragement from them and is now back on for listening and proceeding with the Consultants favoured option. I have just emailed them to see if we can get the appointment back I cancelled last night after a day of my wife having a wobble. You will know how tough all these talks and discussions are and to be honest on Friday last we knew what direction we were going and had she been admitted there and then it would be the chosen path... the weekend gave time for doubt to creep in. I think we are back on course now for listening to the experts.

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply and sharing your experiences. I can be supportive and offer opinion and care to the highest degree but it is only people that have been or are going through similar scenarios that fully understand what this is like for my wife.

    Wishing you all the best,