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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Beaver County Times: 'Eyelid' removal of brain tumor apparently a success

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

SIZE By: Patti ConleyBeaver County Times

BIG BEAVER — Just before dawn Wednesday, David Barsottini arrived at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

A team of surgeons was to perform innovative “eyelid” incision surgery to take out a tangerine-size tumor from the frontal base of his brain.

If all went all, as Barsottini and his wife, Diane, hoped, some vision would return in his left eye. The Big Beaver resident would still have his salt-and-pepper hair and beard, and in a short time, a happy 52-year-old face free of a telltale surgery scar.

Diane would have her husband back.

Eighteen months ago, Diane said the affable guy who’s always been a bit of a procrastinator through three decades of marriage developed “a care-less” attitude about everything. Motivation plummeted. Apathy reigned. Barsottini took to watching TV and the grass grow.

“What’s wrong,” she’d ask.

“Nothing,” he’d answered.

The answer came to light about five weeks ago. On an early April morning, Barsottini woke up and couldn’t see well. Anything he looked at from his left eye was “pretty much black.” He still had vision, thankfully, in his right eye.

Within days and after an MRI scan, a local neurologist told him, “You have a brain tumor.” Barsottini felt faint. “The good news is that it’s a benign type of tumor.”

A week later, neurosurgeon Dr. Khaled M. Aziz, director of AGH’s Center for Complex Intracranial Surgery, told the Barsottinis that there was swelling in the brain around the slow-growing tumor. The tumor had to be removed. If not, Barsottini would continue to lose vision and his memory would be affected.

Aziz asked Diane questions about seizures, wobbliness and behavioral changes. No seizures. He’s always been wobbly, she said. She did note her husband’s lack of enthusiasm. Her “What’s wrong?” question had been answered.

On a glum, rainy Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours before the big cut was to begin, the Barsottinis worked hard to joke about the tumor, but neither could muster rah-rah enthusiasm about the impending surgery. They were, however, thankful that each doctor had said the word “benign.”

“That word is one hell of a relief,” Barsottini said.

To read more, visit the Beaver County Times website.


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