What is Neurofibroma?
A neurofibroma is a benign, slow-growing tumor that develops on a nerve sheath of a peripheral nerve. These nerve tumors present as soft bumps on or under the skin. Individuals with Neurofibromatosis Type I, an autosomal dominant genetically inherited disease, often develop neurofibromas. Tumors can develop within a major or minor nerve anywhere on the body. A specific type of neurofibroma that we treat at Princeton Neurological Surgery is spinal neurofibroma, where the tumors grow from spinal nerve roots.
Symptoms of Neurofibroma
Neurofibroma is typically asymptomatic. However, if symptoms are present, they can range from physical disfiguration and pain to cognitive disability. In more severe cases, weakness in the affected limb can occur. Additionally, patients with multiple lesions often experience symptoms affecting more than one area of the body. Five to ten percent of neurofibromas undergo malignant change, which may be indicated by rapid growth.
Specific symptoms related to spinal neurofibromas include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arm or leg. A spinal neurofibroma may also affect the spinal cord and cause gradual or abrupt irreversible neurologic damage. Damage is usually due to pressure and inflammation that results from the growth of the neurofibroma.
Dr. Lipani can diagnose neurofibroma from a physical examination, your medical history, and imaging tests. Typically, these tests will include a CT or MRI scan. However, patients may also need to undergo a PET scan or a biopsy before treatment. These tests can determine where the tumor is, what tissue and nerves are being affected, and if the tumor is benign.
“Dr. Lipani is the finest neurosurgeon! Compassionate, Caring, Down to Earth with his professionalism; he is the best! My son Alan, had an L-4/ L/5 Spine Fusion, 7.5 hour surgery and I can not thank the “Great Doctor”/Surgeon for his dedication, kindness and caring.” – Alan B.
“The Doctor outstanding in every way possible. Explaining every detail and taking his time to do so. Amazing for a surgeon to be so informing of the procedure to me and my wife. After the surgery he came out and explained everything to me. My wife is doing great after the cervical spine fusion, moving her arm in ways she hasn’t in years and getting her feeling back in her fingers” – Anthony R.
“Dr. Lipani and his staff are excellent. Dr. Lipani was very thorough. He explained what needed to be treated and why. He has terrific bedside manners. He answered all my questions patiently. Did not rush me at any time. I recommended him to one of my friends and she was extremely happy with him too.” – Poornima S.
Surgical Options for Neurofibromas
Since neurofibromas are slow growing and often asymptomatic they usually do not require treatment. For symptomatic lesions, Dr. Lipani will review your surgical and non-surgical treatment options before proceeding. Neurofibromas tend to encase the nerve roots so they usually cannot be dissected from the parent nerve without sacrificing the nerve. Therefore, complete resection may not be possible with surgery.
Alternatively, Dr. Lipani may use noninvasive stereotactic radiosurgery in an effort to destroy the tumor without affecting the parent nerve. Patients will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the best course of treatment during a consultation with Dr. Lipani.
Choose Princeton Neurological Surgery
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for neurofibroma and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani offers image-guided spine surgery approaches and the latest in noninvasive radiosurgery procedures, including CyberKnife radiosurgery, for neurofibroma treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient.
Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth, Morris and Mercer Counties for neurofibroma.