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Children's Neuroscience Center

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Pediatric Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery

What is minimally invasive endoscopic surgery?

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is a technique that can allow pediatric neurosurgeons to avoid more traditional surgical procedures requiring large incisions that are common at many medical facilities. The technique can be utilized to treat a variety of conditions in the brain.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital takes great pride in offering endoscopic alternatives whenever possible. These procedures use small, cosmetically pleasing incisions that require minimal hair shaving.  As a result of the smaller incisions, patients often have shorter hospital stays and less pain than they would with traditional surgery.

When is minimally invasive endoscopic surgery used in neurosurgery?

Minimally invasive endoscopic procedures may be used to biopsy or remove selected tumors from various locations in the brain. In some cases, endoscopic approaches are used to treat tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces of the brain). In some cases, tumors are approached through the nose, requiring no incision. 

Endoscopic procedures, rather than shunting, can be used in some patients to treat hydrocephalus (increased pressure in the brain caused by the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF). A minimally invasive surgical procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) provides an alternate channel for CSF to bypass an obstruction located between the third and fourth ventricles of the brain.

Some arachnoid cysts (fluid collections in the brain) can also be successfully treated with minimally invasive endoscopic procedures.

Pediatric neurosurgeons affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital are nationally recognized for innovative endoscopic treatments for pediatric conditions. They are among only a small number of physicians in the country who are extensively experienced in using minimally invasive techniques, including:

  • Septostomy
  • Aqueductoplasty
  • Choroid plexus coagulation
  • Cyst fenestration

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