ABOUT CRANIOTOMIES: The traditional surgical technique for accessing brain tumors is called a craniotomy. It involves peeling away skin from the face and cutting the skull open. There is a high risk of infection, substantial blood loss and considerable facial scarring from this method, among other complications. With the eyebrow method, the surgeon instead makes an incision along the eyebrow to access the base of the skull. The incision takes 2 to 3 days to heal, and the patient experiences lower risks of leaking spinal fluid or contracting meningitis.
WHAT CAUSES BRAIN TUMORS: Brain tumors, like most other cancerous growths, are the result of uncontrolled cell divisions caused by mutations in key genes within those cells -- in this case, the neurons in the brain. Normal neurons don't divide because their genetic coding tells them not to do so. Cancerous neurons are mutated so that the growth switch is turned back on. They begin to divide and multiple uncontrollably, forming a tumor.