A Youngstown man among first to undergo new brain surgery proced - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

A Youngstown man among first to undergo new brain surgery procedure in Cleveland

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - About seven months ago, Robert Matthews of Youngstown was on his way to his new job as a cosmetology instructor when someone blew through a stop sign and hit him.

"It was like a blessing in disguise because had it not been for that accident I might not have had that MRI," said Matthews.

The MRI performed after his crash revealed some startling news.  A tumor, which he had known about for years, but hadn't concerned doctors, had grown to 4.5 cm and now was pressing against his brain.  While it was non-cancerous, it needed removed before it would cause permanent damage.

"It's scary.   Anytime you find out you have to have a brain surgery, it's a little nerve wracking," said Matthews.

Originally, Robert was told by doctors he would need a craniotomy...meaning doctors would open up his skull to remove the tumor.  However, after getting a second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic, he learned of another option.  Doctors could remove the tumor through the nose using endoscopes guided by a GPS-like device.

"An endoscopic technique through the nose actually gave him the best chance that the tumor wouldn't come back because we were able to drill off all of the bone from where the tumor came from as well as get the entire tumor out," said surgeon Dr. Pablo Recinos with the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Recinos, along with another surgeon, worked through a two centimeter incision and finished the surgery in about 12 hours.  Three weeks of therapy followed.

"I can't say enough about it.   I mean as difficult as I think certain parts of it was, it doesn't compare to what I would have went through with the other option," said Matthews.

Dr. Recinos believes this new technique is the way of the future for most patients with tumors at the base of their skulls.
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