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24-year-old woman to receive early XMas gift - her life & sight
Woman With Brain Tumor Who Was Abandoned By Friends & Family Undergoes Revolutionary New Surgery -- Surgeon Donates Services

A 24-year-old woman who lost her sight due to a debilitating brain tumor underwent a revolutionary new, minimally invasive surgery that both restored her vision and saved her life. Doris Herring of Mrytle Beach, South Carolina, who went blind because the tumor in her pituitary gland was pressing on the optic nerve, had been abandoned by her family and had no health insurance. But thanks to friend and Good Samaritan Cheryl Munaso, who embarked on an Internet search to seek medical assistance, they found one surgeon who was willing to help at no cost.

Herring underwent a revolutionary 2 1/2 -hour, minimally invasive approach to brain surgery performed by internationally renowned surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D. of the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles. Shahinian pioneered the endoscopic surgical approach to skull base surgery and is one of only a few surgeons in the world who specializes in the technique.

"I am delighted to report that Ms. Herring's surgery went extremely well and she is expected to make a full recovery," said Shahinian. "Ms. Herring demonstrated tremendous resolve in overcoming her tumor, and I have no doubt that she will go on to lead a normal and healthy life. I am delighted to have played a role in her recovery."

Few other physicians would attempt the surgery due to the tumor's precarious location in the brain. Most surgeons typically resort to an invasive procedure that involves either removing portions of the skull or cutting underneath the face to access the tumor. Furthermore, they often remove the pituitary gland along with the tumor. Thus, their patients have to remain in the hospital for weeks and are subject to severe complications (i.e., brain damage, blindness, etc.).

Shahinian, on the other hand, pioneered the new endoscopic procedure that involves using a specially designed micro-instrument to access the tumor via the nasal passage. He only removes the tumor --- not the entire pituitary gland. As a result, his patients experience shorter hospital stays (sometime one day), the surgery lasts only about two hours instead of up to 12, the potential for something going wrong is extremely low and they enjoy a better overall result.

Shahinian has turned the medical community upside down by shunning the traditional craniotomy with his endoscopic approach to skull base surgery. To date, Shahinian and his world-class team of surgeons, neurologists, endocrinologists and other medical professionals have treated more than 2,500 patients using advanced endoscopy. As a result, these advances in the field are leading to a paradigm shift in this field of medicine despite some opposition from traditionalists who are holding on to long-established practices and are resistant to change.