What is neuroendoscopy?

Neuroendoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure. In this surgical process, the surgeon will remove the tumor through small holes (about the size of a coin) in the skull or through the mouth or nose. In this procedure, the surgeon uses an endoscope to access the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system. This technique allows the surgeons to reach those places of the brain that are typically not accessible with the traditional surgical procedure. The endoscopic method used lessens the high risk associated with medical intervention at the nervous system level.

The endoscope is a small device that has a high-resolution video camera at one end and eyepiece at the other end. This feature allows the neurosurgeon to look inside the body of the patient clearly. The interior of the brain can be viewed at a detail level that is not feasible with conventional microscopic techniques.

Depending on the objective of the operation a flexible or rigid can be used. It the procedure is carried with the goal of removing a tumor a set of appropriate tools is attached like scissor and forceps. For special cases, laser energy can also be applied to treat tumor or cysts.

Advantages of the endoscopic surgery:

  • Small incision sites which includes minimal scarring and minimal trauma to the brain
  • Less painful
  • Short recovery period of time, so short hospital stay
  • Shorter duration of the surgical operation itself
  • Better view of the inside of the brain
  • Higher magnification and illumination
  • High quality image, even for deep narrow fields

Disadvantages of the endoscopic surgery:

Regardless of the advantage, there are some complicated issues around neuroendoscopy that might not always be easily attempted. The task is required to be performed by a highly specialized and trained neurosurgeon only.

Reasons for procedure:

  • Pineal region tumors
  • Ventricular tumors
  • Skull base tumors
  • Pituitary tumors

It’s an abnormal growth of cells in the pituitary gland, which is the main harmon producing land in the body. It’s about the size of pea, it is situated in center of the brain behind nose and eye. It produces chemical substance, hormones that controls and regulate certain cells and organs.

  • Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCC)

RCC are benign fluid filled growth that develops between the parts of pituitary gland at the base of the brain. This deformity grows when the fetus is still growing in the womb.

Neuroendoscopy can also be used in the treatment of hydrocephalus. There are many type of hydrocephalous, but those which are in third ventriculus can be treated by neuroendoscopy. In this circumstance the hole is made in the floor of the third ventricle to remove the excess brain fluid that defines the hydrocephalic condition.

Neuroendoscopy technique is also successfully used in the management of thoracic and lumbar disc protrusions. This is for the treatment of intracranial hematomas and in the fenestration of arachnoid cysts.

Risk associated with the Neuroendoscopy procedure:

In spite of its many beneficial aspects, Neuroendoscopy like any other treatment techniques has some risk associated with some risk. Some of them are

  • Local injury to surrounding structure
  • Hemorrhage
  • Raised intracranial pressure
  • Infection