Awake craniotomy for brain tumours in Pakistan: an initial case series from a developing country
Awake craniotomy offers safe resection of brain tumours in eloquent area. Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, recently started the programme in Pakistan, and the current study was planned to assess our experience of the first 16 procedures. The retrospective study comprised all such procedures done from November 2015 to May 2016. Pre-operative and post-operative variables were analysed. Of the 16 patients, 11(68.75%) were males and 5(31.25%) were females. The overall median age was 37 years (interquartile range[IQR]: 23-62 years). The most common presenting complaint was seizures 8(50%), followed by headache6(38%). The common pathologies operated include oligodendroglioma and glioblastoma. Pre-operative mean Karnofsky Performance Status score was 76±10, which increased to 96±7 post-operatively at discharge. Besides, 2(12.5%) intra-operative complications were observed, i.e. seizure and brain oedema, in the series. The study had median operative time of 176 minutes (IQR: 115-352) and median length of stay of 4 days (IQR: 3-7).Awake craniotomy was highly effective in maintaining post-operative functionality of the patient following glioma resection. It was also associated with shorter hospital course and so lower cost of management.