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A teratoma is a tumor in the brain or spine that grows from a reproductive cell (egg or sperm). It is likely present at birth, having evolved during fetal development, but it is often not diagnosed until ages 11 – 30.  These rare tumors have been known to contain hair, teeth, bone, eyes, torso tissue, hands or feet, or tissue from the brain, thyroid, liver, or lungs.  Immature teratomas, more common in children, are usually benign, but they can grow rapidly. Mature teratomas are more common in adult men and can be malignant.

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The AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute is a state-of-the art facility for children and adults affected by teratomas. We specialize in minimally invasive treatments that remove the tumors or reduce their size. These advanced techniques minimize damage to surrounding tissue and result in less scarring and pain. Using 3-D brain mapping, our neurosurgeons pinpoint a tumor with immense accuracy and can perform the entire operation through an endoscope – a tube – so no incision in the head is necessary. A teratoma can often be removed through the natural cavity of the nose, so critical parts of the brain are untouched. Patients also generally recover more quickly.