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SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Passeig Sant Joan de Déu, 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat

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Ivan successfully undergoes his third brain operation

Ivan on a visit to the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, with his mother and sister.

The team led by Dr. Hinojosa, a paediatric neurosurgeon at SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, completely removed the seven-year-old's brain tumour.

When Ivan was three years old he was diagnosed with a brain tumour that took up a third of his brain, paralysing the right side of his body. At that time, he was operated on by an adult neurosurgeon in his home country of Ukraine.

After a year and a half, the little boy began to have memory lapses. They did an MRI and found that the tumour had grown even larger than the first time. They saw another adult neurosurgeon in Kiev who operated him after a week of examination and preparations. It was a complicated procedure, and although they thought they had removed the entire tumour, after a few months they found that there was residual tumour tissue. The tumour continued to grow and another operation was planned for February 2022 in Kiev, but the war broke out and they had to leave the country for Poland before the operation could be done.

Through the mother of a girl who was being treated for neuroblastoma at SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, they learned about our centre, where we operate on approximately 100 brain tumours every year, and they decided to travel to Barcelona to meet Dr. José Hinojosa Mena-Bernal, head of the hospital’s Neurosurgery Service.

Dr Hinojosa told them that “brain tumours grow and if they are not treated they end up affecting very important neurological functions. In Ivan's case, it would have affected his language, his ability to speak and understand, and the mobility of the right side of his body.”

The child and the family trusted Dr. Hinojosa completely. Ivan didn't even cry before the surgery, as the whole process had been explained to him very clearly. When he woke up from the anaesthesia in the ICU he said: “I went to sleep and they removed the tumour. Now I can go to school."

Ivan and his family arrived in Barcelona on 6 November 2022. Dr Hinojosa operated on him less than two weeks later. The surgery was complex, lasting seven and a half hours, but he was only hospitalised for a weekend because he recovered very quickly. The doctors are very happy with the results of the operation, as they managed to remove the tumour completely and the prognosis is very positive because after studying the tumour it turned out to be benign. Since the surgery was a success, he does not need any additional treatment. In four months he will have an MRI to confirm that there is no residual tumour tissue.

The boy's mother says that, "Ivan is a strong boy, a brave warrior. He’s always been very positive. When the doctor said he had to have a test or an operation, his response was always “of course, go ahead!’” She adds that "Ivan is now able to live a normal life and he is very happy. We want to live each day intensely, as if it were the last. We are very happy to have found this hospital and we are very grateful to Dr. Hinojosa, who is a great professional.”