Arachnoid Cyst Treatment in New Jersey
rachnoid cysts account for ~1% of all intracranial masses. They consist of fluid-filled sacs that may or may not spread to additional areas of the brain throughout one’s lifetime. Individuals can become diagnosed with arachnoid cysts at birth, but they can sometimes develop through serious head injury or trauma. They can also be found in the spine, leading to uncomfortable symptoms if the cyst grows or begins to interfere with back function.
Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics has a team of extensively trained physicians and surgeons specializing in a variety of neurological, spine, and orthopedic disciplines. Learn more below about the symptoms, diagnosing, and treatment of arachnoid cysts at CNSO.
Signs and Symptoms of Arachnoid Cysts
The symptoms of an arachnoid cyst may vary depending on the size and location of the cyst. Smaller cysts will usually present no symptoms, making it manageable to live a normal life. However, if cysts grow, spread, or reach areas that impact cognitive function, they can present signs that affect daily activities. Symptoms that may indicate the presence of an arachnoid cyst include:
- Severe or frequent headaches
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Frequent feelings of tiredness
- Lumps on the head
- Hormonal problems
- Uncontrolled head movements
- Problems with vision
- Fluid-build up in the brain
Individuals throughout Northern NJ that are experiencing any of these symptoms should schedule an appointment with the specialists at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics right away.
Causes of Arachnoid Cysts
As of today, the cause of arachnoid cysts is unknown. Research efforts suggest that they could arise due to the splitting of the arachnoid membrane, an area that covers part of the brain and spinal cord. When the arachnoid membrane breaks, this allows fluids to enter the brain and become trapped, creating fluid-filled sacs. Most individuals are diagnosed with arachnoid cysts at birth and may never experience any problems or symptoms. However, others may develop cysts later in life due to serious head injury or trauma. In addition, people diagnosed at birth may find that symptoms worsen as they grow older.
Diagnosing Arachnoid Cysts
The only way to diagnose arachnoid cysts is by undergoing a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. This will give the CNSO neurosurgeons a detailed look at the affected area, allowing them to determine the size and location of the cyst. They will also look at additional factors, including:
- Swallowing ability
- Eye movement
- Sensations on the skin’s surface
- Motor function
Once CNSO understands the patient’s symptoms and diagnosis, the cyst may be left alone or require surgery. The medical team at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics will also take the time to evaluate the patient’s lifestyle and medical history to determine the best course of treatment before, during, and after surgery.
Arachnoid Cyst Treatment Options
Arachnoid cysts are drained through surgery to relieve symptoms and reduce pressure in the brain. There are various procedure options depending on the cyst location and how large it is. Some treatments include:
- Drainage by needle: This quick and simple procedure consists of draining the cyst using a small needle. Neurosurgeons may create a burr hole in the skull to reach the affected area of the brain. Puncturing the cyst allows fluid to exit, reducing pressure and symptoms.
- Endoscopic fenestration: This is a procedure that utilizes an endoscope so surgeons can get a more detailed look at the cyst. The endoscope is inserted into a small cut by the cyst for a minimally invasive Surgeons will make small openings on the cyst wall to ensure proper drainage.
- Craniotomy: This is a procedure that works to access arachnoid cysts found in a hard-to-reach area of the brain. This is where surgeons will remove the top portion of the skull (called the bone flap) to access areas they otherwise couldn’t with alternative methods.
- Shunting: This is a method surgeons will use to drain cysts using a small tube called a shunt. Surgeons will place the shunt into the cyst to healthily release fluid into the body. The shunt remains in place permanently after surgery for continual drainage and less chance of recurring symptoms.
- Resection: If an arachnoid cyst is found on the spine, surgeons will perform a resection procedure to remove the affected structures.
If a patient is diagnosed with arachnoid cysts but does not present any symptoms, they may not need treatment. Instead, doctors will regularly monitor the cyst, watching closely for abnormalities, growth, or spreading.
The Benefits of CNSO’s Arachnoid Cyst Treatment
Although arachnoid cysts may not be fatal without symptoms, it’s still important to seek proper medical care. These cysts can spread to other areas of the brain and spine if not monitored by a medical professional. Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics dedicates itself to comprehensive and personal patient care, which means physicians will take the time to get to know patients so they can feel free to ask any questions that arise. CNSO’s highly trained neurosurgeons and spine surgeons have abundant experience with a variety of neurological, spine, and orthopedic conditions, giving Northern NJ patients peace of mind throughout the entire process.
Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics also uses state-of-the-art surgical equipment as well as advanced technology and knowledge. Because minimally invasive brain procedures are utilized to remove certain arachnoid cysts, patients can reap many benefits. These may include decreased post-operation discomfort, less recovery time, and minimal scarring. To learn more about arachnoid cyst treatment at one of the New Jersey locations, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today.