OKLAHOMA CITY – Bonnie Naifeh received an early Christmas present this year. She’s tumor free.
“I had filled my will out, I’d done everything but this was the third time and the radiologist said it was so near the carotid artery and so it was really frightening to me,” Naifeh said.
After a visit to her eye surgeon in 2007, Bonnie found out she had a tumor growing in the middle of her head.
The tumors returned multiple times.
After the third diagnosis, Dr. Michael Sughrue of OU Medical Center gave Bonnie three options; do nothing, go through radiation, or have brain surgery.
She chose to have an endoscopic pituitary gland surgery, a less invasive approach that uses a camera to go up the nasal cavity and remove the tumor through the nose.
The endoscope provides doctors a full view as opposed to the traditional method that gave surgeons a more narrow view.
“The truth is we can get cures for these patients in a large percentage of these cases and so we all feel like there’s an obligation to make up the standard to the point where the majority of the people don’t have to deal with this like she did for years and years and years,” Dr. Sughrue said.
This less invasive approach decreases the threat the tumors will return and it speeds up recovery time.
“The important thing is we set people up for correct healing,” he said. “So we’re not, we don’t think, developing scarring or long-term sinus problems because we’re not destroying the anatomy.”