The term endoscopy comes from endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, typically used in gastrointestinal surgeries, and allows surgeons to view key anatomical features in real-time during surgery. Thus, neuroendoscopy is the use of an endoscope during cranial, or neurological surgeries.
One of the most monumental advancements in neurosurgery over the past ten years is the inclusion of endoscopic techniques. Surgeons report that it allows them to visualize areas of the brain that they weren’t able to see before. Multiple brain tumors can be treated with endoscopic surgery instead of microscopic surgery. The key advantage endoscopic neurosurgery has over microscopic surgery is visualization. Imagine microscopic surgery like a small pinpoint of light, shining on the tumor or area of surgery, whereas endoscopic instruments are more representative of a flashlight, illuminating a much larger area, which increases visualization.
While many advancements are still to be made within neuro or cranial endoscopy, already surgeons are finding minimal injury to neural tissue when using an endoscope during surgery. A cranial endoscope is a highly versatile tool that will aid in surgery because with it surgeons can access areas of the brain that cannot be accessed with traditional surgery. During neuroendoscopy, surgeons can remove tumors through small holes (around 3mm to 6mm in diameter) in the skull or through the nose or mouth. Advantages for the patient also include minimal scaring, less pain and faster recovery when compared to traditional brain surgery.
The types of brain tumors that may possibly be treated using neuroendoscopy include:
- ventricular tumors
- pituitary tumors
- tumors in the pineal region
- colloid cysts
- rathke’s cleft cysts
- skull based tumors such as meningiomas and clival chordomas
Dr. Chris Duma and his team are on the forefront of advancements in neurologic surgical and imaging technologies. His team employs the best tools and care available to ensure the best results possible. To learn more or speak with Dr. Duma, contact us today.