Hannah's visulase treatment

Hannah's visualase experience

After successful surgery to remove a brain tumour in 2009. In 2019 Hannah was diagnosed with a second brain tumour in a difficult location to reach through surgery. Professor Keyoumars Ashkan at The Harley Street Clinic used Visualase® a minimally-invasive treatment using a laser ablation.

Hannah's initial diagnosis

Just 15 at the time, Hannah from Bury St Edmunds was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009. After suffering with unexplained symptoms she was found to have a tumour in her brain.

Later that year Hannah’s tumour was removed through surgery known as a craniotomy – this is when an area of bone is cut from the skull, providing an opening so the tumour can be removed. The surgery, was successful in removing the tumour, but Hannah developed post-operative epilepsy after the surgery.

Hannah managed the symptoms of her epilepsy successfully for many years through medication but in 2019 she began suffering from frequent seizures and not long after she was diagnosed with a second brain tumour. This one was in a much harder to reach part of the brain, making it difficult to reach through surgery, which could risk damaging vital structures within the brain.

My consultants recommended that the tumour be left alone and monitored, but I didn’t like the idea of that and I was still suffering from the side effect of seizures. My mum did hours and hours of research and eventually came across Visualase® and Professor Keyoumars Ashkan.

Neurosurgical laser ablation

Visualase® is a minimally-invasive treatment available at The Harley Street Clinic that uses MRI-guided laser ablation to destroy cancerous tissue. It is ideal for those who are unable to undergo open surgery, as it requires a very small incision and can also be used to treat tumours that were previously deemed inoperable because of their location. A robotic system is used to accurately and precisely locate the tumour and avoid damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

After coming to London and meeting with Consultant Neurosurgeon Professor Keyoumars Ashkan of The Harley Street Clinic’s renowned London Neurosurgery Partnership, Hannah’s Visualase® procedure was booked in just a matter of weeks.

All the nurses were very caring and Professor Ashkan was very kind and reassuring. He talked me through the procedure and although I was not too nervous about the treatment itself, I was scared of losing all my hair. Luckily, as it only needed a small incision they didn’t have to shave my head and I wasn’t left with a massive scar like I was after my first surgery.

Successful treatment

Hannah successfully underwent treatment at The Harley Street Clinic in January 2020, just before the pandemic. She recovered quickly and was able to leave hospital just one day after her procedure. “I expected to feel terrible, but I felt amazing afterwards!

Since her procedure her seizures have stopped and although she still has to manage her epilepsy, her regular scans and check-ups have found no further cause for concern. Hannah also noticed that since her tumour was removed, her short term memory, which she struggled with at times, has improved dramatically.

Her improved memory and her freedom from the frequent seizures have given Hannah the confidence to go to back to University and complete her degree. She is now studying for a degree in Modern Languages, as well as caring for her young daughter.

More information about Visualase® treatment

More information about Professor Ashkan and the London Neurosurgery Partnership

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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