Reading man receives new brain tumor surgery

Watch report from Action News
March 14, 2014 3:33:17 PM PDT
A Reading man had an unconventional operation to remove a brain tumor. It is surgery rarely performed anywhere else in the country.

Newlyweds Jonathan and Bethann Haas married in September.

Early last month, he suffered a seizure; more followed becoming so severe he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

The cause turned out to be a benign tumor in his brain behind his eyes; a difficult area for surgeons to access.

"The reason is that traditionally to get there, you have to open up the skull and once you open up the skull, you have to lift it up and get to the bottom," explained Dr. John Lee.

Due to the invasiveness of the procedure, Reading doctors referred Jonathan to Pennsylvania Hospital and neurosurgeon, John Lee.

"This is slice of John's brain, and you can see this white thing is all the epidermoid cyst. What we can do today is instead of lifting the brain up and coming at it, we can take endoscopes and come in," said Dr. Lee.

Dr. Lee is one of only a few doctors in the nation who use a 4 millimeter endoscope with a 3-D camera to remove the tumor through the patient's nose.

But there is one drawback.

"He said there is a good chance you are going to lose your complete sense of smell, and I'm like, that really stinks," said Jonathan Haas.

But most of Jonathan's ability to smell was preserved.

"The night we left the hospital, somebody was smoking outside the car. We got in the car, and he said, 'Why does it smell like smoke in here?'", said Bethann Haas.

"It kind of feels like I got punched in the nose," said Jonanthan.

Dr. Lee says soon Jonathan will not have any scars from his brain surgery and should make a thorough recovery.

"I expect Jonathan to return to full normal duties as a husband," said Dr. Lee. "He's going to do great. He is my star patient."


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