MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy and father of five is hopeful after a new technique was used to try to remove his brain tumor.
Shawn Monti along with the man who performed the surgery, Dr. Ricardo Komotar, were set to speak about the new technique Thursday morning at the University of Miami Hospital.
It all started a year ago when Monti went to the doctor, thinking he was having a sinus headache.
When antibiotics didn’t work and he started acting oddly, his wife took him to the emergency room, where a scan revealed Monti had an aggressive brain tumor.
While his first surgery was successful, his tumor returned in a different spot.
That’s when doctors decided to use a fluorescent l compound, called sodium fluorescein which would help Komotar see the tumor tissue better during the second operation.
How does it work?
The liquid is injected into the patient and illuminates the brain tumor tissue making it glow and appear distinct from healthy tissue.
This helps surgeons remove as much tumor tissue as possible.
“We know that’s our best shot at extending longevity, and using biofluorescence increases the ability to remove tumor while preserving viable brain,” said Komotar.
Using the liquid during Monti’s second surgery, Komotar viewed the tumor through a special filter, all while communicating with Monti who was in a semi-awake state during the surgery.
The new technique has offered new hope to Monti’s family. “I feel great my prognosis to live to be 100 that is my plan but I am a realist so I am taking it one day at a time every day is a gift” said Shawn Monti.
Komotar said the technique is “a game changer. It can help us improve the quality of life for these patients.”
According to the hospital, nearly 70,000 new cases of primary brain tumors will be diagnosed this year, and in that same span nearly 14,000 patients will lose their battle with a brain tumor.
Monti will continue to undergo chemotherapy and will be put in a clinical trial program to improve his prognosis.