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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 156-162

History of brain tumor surgery – A global and Indian perspective

Department of Neurosurgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C Vilanilam George
Department of Neurosurgery, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_129_21

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Brain tumor surgery has grown exponentially in the last century, aided by sophistication, globalization, and training initiatives. With progress in cerebral localization, antisepsis, anesthesia, and hemostasis, brain surgery took off in a cautious manner and soon gained momentum. The earliest brain tumor surgery based on cerebral localization dates back to the 19th century and is older than imaging techniques such as X-rays, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging scans. In India, formal neurosurgery started in the post independence era in 1949 at CMC, Vellore and Chennai. With over 2000 practicing neurosurgeons today, India has contributed immensely to global advancements in brain tumor care. The advent of microneurosurgery in the late 60s has been a landmark in the history of brain tumor surgery, advancing safety profiles and elevating outcomes. Further on, advances in brain tumor imaging, surgical gadgetry (neuronavigation and intraoperative imaging), adjuvant therapy, and molecular tumor profiling have improved prognosis and survival. We examine the rich legacy of brain tumor surgery from a global and Indian perspective with five epochs of historical development – premodern (before 1879), incubational (1879–1919), modern (1919–1967), microsurgical (1967–1999), and new millennial (2000 onward). Several path-breaking advancements and an exciting future await brain tumor surgery, translating into superior surgical outcomes and quality of life.

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