About Surgery for Brain Tumors

Where You Are In Your Care

Approaches to Brain Surgery

Your Doctors


Also known as a surgical oncologist, your surgeon specializes in surgical procedures to diagnose and treat tumors. Your surgeon serves as your attending physician, the doctor who directs your care team.

Neurosurgeons perform both biopsies (taking tiny samples of tissue) to test for cancer and confirm a diagnosis as well as surgery to remove the tumor. They help you choose the best type of surgery for your care. Potential options include traditional (open) approaches or minimally invasive techniques to remove tumors and surrounding tissue.

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These specialists provide medical and surgical care for patients with conditions affecting the ears, balance, the facial nerves, and bones of the head and neck.

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An anesthesiologist is a doctor who specializes in using medications to block pain during surgery. These medications also help you relax during the procedure or ease you into unconsciousness. After giving medication, your anesthesiologist monitors vital functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate throughout your surgery and immediate recovery.

Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may need local (small area), regional (larger area), or general (overall) anesthesia. You will meet with your anesthesiologist at your pre-operative visit to review your case in detail.

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Working closely with your neurosurgeon, your pathologist performs and reads laboratory tests to determine the type and stage of cancer present. These doctors have special training to detect and diagnose cancer. They use a microscope to examine tissue samples taken during a biopsy. As with radiologists, you may not meet your pathologist while he/she works with your oncologist to diagnose your cancer.

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Extended Care Team

Advanced Practice Provider (APP)
Multidisciplinary care coordinator (MCC)
Clinical administrative assistance (CAA)
Clinical nurse
Patient Access Representative (PAS)
Surgery scheduler

Support Services


PathWell is your connection to personalized support services before, during, and after your treatment. Our teams of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual care providers, nutrition experts, financial counselors, and more work with your oncology team to provide comprehensive specialized care to you and to your family.

Stanford Health Library

For confidential help with your health care questions, contact the Stanford Health Library. Professional medical librarians and trained volunteers, access journals, books, e-books, databases, and videos to learn more about medical conditions, treatment options, and related issues.

  • 875 Blake Wilbur, Palo Alto: 1st floor near the cafe, 650-736-1960

Email us your questions: healthlibrary@stanfordhealthcare.org

Our Clinics

Our doctors are at the forefront of the latest brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials options.
Brain Tumor Center
875 Blake Wilbur Drive
Clinic D
Palo Alto CA, 94304
Phone: 650-723-6469 Getting Here »
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