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Surgeons enter brain through eyelid

BALTIMORE, June 26 (UPI) -- Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have pioneered a technique that can spare some patients invasive brain surgery.

Liane Lefever, 47, of Manheim, Pa., was their 18th patient, The Baltimore Sun reported. Surgeons were able to remove a meningioma, a brain tumor, through an incision in her eyelid.

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"When you tell people you had brain surgery, the first thing people always do is look for a scar, and that's what's amazing, there isn't one," Lefever said.

Dr. Kofi Boahene, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, first used the eyelid for access three years ago. He had to do a biopsy on a 14-month-old boy, who had a tumor that could not be reached by way of the nose -- which had already become an entrance point.

"In surgery in general, we have a goal of doing things in a simpler way so patients recover more quickly and the cost is less," Boahene said.

In traditional brain surgery, still the most common, a patient's skull is sawn open. It involves lengthy recovery and the risk of damage to the brain.

Boahene and Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, who pioneered the nasal entrance point, recently published their first report on the eyelid incision.

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