What is neuroendoscopy?

Brain surgery to remove brain tumors can be performed with a minimally invasive technique called a neuroendoscopy. During a neuroendoscopy, your neurosurgeon will access your brain though small (dime-sized) holes in the skull or through the nose or mouth.

When used in the right patients, a neuroendoscopy can result in fewer complications, less pain, a faster recover and minimal scarring compared to traditional brain surgery.

When is neuroendoscopy recommended?

A neuroendoscopy enables neurosurgeons to reach areas of the brain that are accessible with traditional surgery and/or reach a brain tumor with minimal cutting or damage to other areas of the skull.

Brain tumors that can be treated with minimally invasive brain surgery include:

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Tumors in the pineal region
  • Rathke’s cleft cysts
  • Tumors in the base of the skull
  • Ventricular tumors

Risks of neuroendoscopy

Although neuroendoscopy is safer than traditional brain surgery, there are risks associated with the procedure. 

Complications associated with a neuroendoscopy include:

  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Severe bleeding
  • Increased intracranial pressure 
  • Infection

What to expect during a neuroendoscopy procedure?

You will likely need an overnight stay in the hospital after a neuroendoscopy procedure. 

A neuroendoscopy is performed using a surgical tool called an endoscope. An endoscope is a device that has a high-resolution camera that allows the neurosurgeon to better locate and access the brain tumor.

During an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA), your neurosurgeon will insert the endoscopy into the nasal cavity to reach the brain tumor.

To remove the tumor or obtain a sample of the tissue in the affected area for a brain biopsy, your neurosurgeon will attach surgical instruments to the end of the endoscope. The surgeon will manipulate the instruments to remove the tumor from the brain.

Recovery from a neuroendoscopy

Before being discharged from the hospital, your doctor will provide detailed discharge instructions including:
  • Pain relief options 
  • Caring for your wound site 
  • How quickly you can return to activity level
  • Follow-up appointment schedule

Most patients experience a smooth recovery as well as improved quality of life after a neuroendoscopy.

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