• Experience

    About Dr Owler, Safe Hands

  • Informed

    Better Informed Patients Lead to Improved Outcomes

  • Understanding

    Prof. Owler Listens and Cares

  • Caring Team

    Individualised co-ordination by our dedicated team

  • Caring Team

    Individualised co-ordination by our dedicated team

Conditions

Prof. Brian K. Owler is a Adult & Pediatric Neurosurgeon. His Conditions include:

Adult Brain Tumours

What are paediatric brain tumours?

A brain tumour is the growth of abnormal cells in the brain.  When most normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when the body doesn't need them, and old or damaged cells don't die as they should. The build-up of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumour. Brain tumours are classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).  Brain tumours are also classified as either primary or metastatic.  When a brain tumour originates in the brain it is referred to as a primary brain tumour.  Metatastic brain tumours begin as cancer elsewhere in the body and then spread to the brain.

Paediatric Brain Tumours

A brain tumour is the growth of abnormal cells in the brain. When most normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when the body doesn't need them, and old or damaged cells don't die as they should. The build-up of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumour.

Brain tumours are classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Brain tumours are also classified as either primary or metastatic. When a brain tumour originates in the brain it is referred to as a primary brain tumour. Metastatic brain tumours begin as cancer elsewhere in the body and then spread to the brain.

Hydrocephalus & Shunts

The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head. As the name implies, it is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Although hydrocephalus was once known as "water on the brain," the "water" is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) — a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles. Ventricles are hollow cavities within the brain that are constantly producing CSF. This widening creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor, dystonia and some other movement disorders. The procedure is used only for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.

Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, uses tiny electrodes surgically implanted into part of the brain. The electrodes are connected by a wire under the skin to a small electrical device called a pulse generator that is implanted in the chest below the collarbone. The pulse generator and electrodes painlessly stimulate the brain in a way that helps to stop many of the symptoms of PD or other movement disorder. DBS is stereotactic surgery, meaning it uses a 3D coordinate mapping system to locate tiny areas in our bodies to perform surgery accurately.

Disc Protrusions

Disc protrusions may occur anywhere along the spine but the most common regions are the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). Many people have disc protrusions or bulges but may be unaware of that they have these changes. Some however are symptomatic causing pain, numbness, pins and needles (paraesthesia) or weakness of an arm or leg.

There are several lay terms that are used interchangeably and this can be confusing. A disc bulge usually means that the disc is intact but the outer layers of the disc are ‘bulging’ or pushed outwards. In the right spot this may cause symptoms but in absence of symptoms would usually need to specific treatment. A disc protrusion is where a piece of the inner part of the disc has pushed through the outer wall. This is more serious and likely to cause symptoms. A disc extrusion is where the inner part of the disc pushes through and may detach from the outer part of the disc.

Spinal Canal Stenosis

Spinal canal stenosis is a condition caused by narrowing of the spinal canal due to excess bone growth or tissue such as cartilage. The spine is narrowed in one or more of three parts:

  • The space at the centre of the spine
  • The canals where nerves branch out from the spine
  • The space between vertebrae (the bones of the spine)

Spondylolisthesis

The spine, also called the back bone, is designed to give us stability, smooth movement, as well as providing a corridor of protection for the delicate spinal cord. It is made up of bony segments called vertebrae and fibrous tissue called intervertebral discs. The vertebrae and discs form a column from your head to your pelvis providing symmetry and support to the body. The spinal canal is formed by the placement of single vertebrae, one on top of the other, to form a canal. The purpose of the spinal canal is to create a bony casing from the head to the lower back through which the spinal cord passes.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine causes one vertebra to slip out of place on top of the one below it. This causes misalignment and narrowing of the spinal column, a condition called spinal stenosis, which can put pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain in the buttocks or legs with walking or standing. As the spine tries to stabilize itself, the joints between the slipped vertebra and adjacent vertebrae can become enlarged, pinching nerves as they exit the spinal column.

  • Australian Medical Association
  • Neurosurgical Society of Australasia
  • The Sydney Children Hospitals Network
  • Sydney Adventist Hospital
  • Norwest Private Hospital
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons