14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dad's Sight Saved After Surgeons Remove Tumour Through His NOSE

Ross Parry

A dad's sight has been saved after surgeons removed a brain tumour through his NOSE.

Simon Stevenson-Black had suffered splitting headaches for 10 years but thought they were down to the stresses and strains of work.

It wasn't until his vision had begun to blur and cloud over that his wife, Kate, persuaded him to visit his GP.

After failing an eye test, the dad-of-two was booked in for an MRI scan – which showed a worrying shadow.

Doctors discovered Simon had a 3cm benign tumour growing on his pituitary gland, the small oval-shaped gland at the base of the brain below the optic nerve.

Because of its position close to his left eye, they feared the 39-year-old could eventually be blinded if the tumour wasn't removed.

The delicate operation involved surgeons carefully removing the tumour in pieces through his nostril, and within five days he was back home with his wife and daughters, Lily, eight, and Faith, six.

Simon, from St Helens, Lancashire, told his local paper: "The headaches have stopped and the hair growth is returning. I feel very lucky.

"We all face different challenges throughout our lives but the outcome for me is looking very positive and promising at this stage."

Until this new procedure was developed, patients like Simon would have had to have their skulls opened up to allow surgeons to gain access to the tumour.

The only other option was to reach some parts of the brain through the face or the inside of the mouth but this could leave major scars.

During the new procedure, surgeons reach the tumour through one nostril by making a hole in the back of the nasal cavity and into the bottom of the skull.

Through this hole they can see the tumour and use cutting instruments to remove it in pieces. This reduces the operating time and allows for a quicker recovery than was seen with the older procedures.