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Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Endoscopic Brain Surgery pic

What is Endoscopic Brain Surgery?

Endoscopic brain surgery, also known as endoscopic cranial surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure to identify and treat abnormal conditions deep within the brain. The procedure may be performed through one or two small incisions on the skull or another opening of your body such as the nostrils.

Indications of Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Endoscopic brain surgery is usually performed to treat abnormal growths such as:

  • Meningiomas
  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Pituitary tumours
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Colloid cysts
  • Schwannoma

Other indications for endoscopic brain surgery include:

  • Brain Biopsy: Small sample of brain tissue is taken and observed under the microscope to detect abnormal growths
  • To relieve abnormal compression of a cranial nerve

Benefits of Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Benefits of endoscopic brain surgery include:

  • Less scarring
  • Decreased pain
  • Less damage to brain tissues
  • Reduced side effects
  • Faster recovery

Preparation for Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Preparation for endoscopic brain surgery includes:

  • Inform your doctor if you are taking any medications.
  • Quit smoking or consumption of alcohol.
  • Avoid eating or drinking after midnight the day before surgery.

Procedure of Endoscopic Brain Surgery

The surgery may be performed under general anaesthesia or monitored anaesthesia (sedation) depending on your condition. Fluids and medicines will be introduced intravenously. An endoscope, a thin narrow tube with a tiny video camera attached to its end along with specialized equipment will be inserted through a small incision made on the head or through the nose (nasal endoscopy). This camera will produce images of the inside of the brain that will be displayed on the monitor. This helps guide your surgeon precisely to the affected area to perform the surgery. At the completion of the surgery, the surgical equipment is removed and the incisions are closed with sutures.

Post-operative Care following Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions depending on your condition, this includes:

  • You may need to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days before going home.
  • You will be instructed to apply cold packs over the skull incision to avoid swelling if this approach was used.
  • If a nasal endoscopy approach is used you may have packing placed in your nose and sinuses which is usually removed in a week. 
  • Your surgeon will provide pain medications to keep you comfortable.

Risks Associated with Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Some of the risks associated with endoscopic brain surgery include:

  • Blood clot
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Seizure
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Damage to arteries and veins
  • The Society of British Neurological Surgeons
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • British Association of Spine Surgeons
  • North American Spine Society