The Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery of the Helmsley Neurological Institute sees its fair share of dramatic cases. But one recent patient was described by the Department Director, Dr. Gustavo Rajz as the type of thing doctors see maybe only once in a decade.
The story began about a month ago when a local Jerusalem couple noticed that their infant son’s head had taken on an awkward shape. They brought the child to their pediatrician who ordered an ultrasound to better understand the problem. The scan was performed by Dr. Lena Cherkhov, a pediatric neuro-radiologist in the Wilf Childrens Hospital who identified a life-threatening mass in the child’s brain.
He was immediately sent to the Glaubach Pediatric Emergency Department where he was brought under the care of Dr. Rajz. The follow-up CT revealed that without a question he was in imminent danger as the mass was pushing up against the brain stem.
With little time to lose, he was admitted for an emergency surgery led by Dr. Rajz alongside a team of senior surgeons including Dr. John Winestone, Dr. Henry Shapiro and Dr. Nevo Margalit, Shaare Zedek's Director of Neurosurgery . After hours of an intense and complex operation, the team saw that this was far from a routine case. The mass was made up of fetal remnants including hair, tissue and even teeth.
“This is an extremely rare type of mass that we see maybe once a decade,”Dr. Rajz said. “We responded very quickly because we saw the pressure on the brain stem and a build-up of fluids that could certainly have been life-threatening. After a couple of days the boy was released him back home in good condition.”
Dr. Rajz says that upon further analysis in the pathology lab the tumor was shown to be benign and didn’t affect the child’s overall development