Surgery of brain metastases - Is there still a place for it?
The role of surgery in the treatment of metastatic brain tumors has always been a source of controversy. It was only in the early 1990s that two randomized prospective trials demonstrated that surgery plus radiation therapy improved survival in patients with single metastatic brain tumors vs. radiation therapy alone. This paper reviews these articles as well as other evidence outlining management options for multiple brain metastases. An attempt has been made to better define the role of surgery in brain metastases. The prognostic factors for brain metastases after surgery are also reviewed and the data comparing stereotactic radiosurgery to surgery is examined. A short description of surgical planning, operative techniques and tools, followed by a discussion on complication avoidance before, during, and after surgery is included.