About Colloid Cysts in New Jersey
Being diagnosed with a brain condition like colloid cysts can be difficult. However, knowing what to expect can help to relieve anxiety or stress about your condition and your future. The highly experienced physicians and surgeons at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics are here to help patients understand their options. The CNSO team of specialists collaborates directly with patients to ensure they are receiving the best method of care. Learn more about colloid cysts, their symptoms, and treatment options in Northern New Jersey at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics.
What Is a Colloid Cyst?
A colloid cyst is a slow-growing tumor that consists of benign cystic fluid. These cysts are typically found near the center of the brain, called the third ventricle. The third ventricle is one of four ventricles found in the brain responsible for communicating brain signals.
Colloid cysts can remain stagnant throughout one’s life, but in some cases, they can also become too large over time. If a colloid cysts increases in size too much, it can block cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from draining outside of the brain. This would cause too much CSF fluid to remain within the skull, leading to intense pressure on the brain. Also, the colloid cyst can strain important nervous structures that work to process memory signals. In addition, colloid cysts can affect blood circulation which can cause a number of unpleasant side effects.
Symptoms of a Colloid Cyst
Research suggests that colloid cysts form during embryologic development. Initially colloid cysts are small so most newborns and children will not experience symptoms. However, as a person grows older, colloid cysts have a chance of becoming enlarged. This can cause symptoms to arise in middle-aged adults. The most common signs of a colloid cyst include:
- Headaches that worsen in the morning
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Problems with vision (such as double vision)
- Difficulty with memory and concentration
- Changes in personality
Although some individuals may not experience symptoms, early detection and prevention can work to avoid future complications. Regularly visiting a neurologist along with imaging to monitor the growth rate of the colloid cyst, allows the opportunity for treatment before symptoms start to arise.
Diagnosing Colloid Cysts
If a patient is experiencing cognitive symptoms, it’s important to seek medical treatment and receive a diagnosis as soon as possible. When patients arrive at their appointment, the neurosurgeon and medical team at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics will discuss with each individual, their symptoms, and their medical history. A thorough physical examination would be conducted, specifically focused on aspects such as:
- Eye movement
- Motor function
- Balance and coordination
- Ability to swallow
- Sense of smell
- Sensation on the skin surface
Following the exam, if the neurosurgeon discovers sufficient evidence of a structural abnormality, a brain MRI with be scheduled to confirm the location within the brain, of the root cause of the symptoms. Additionally, this will allow physicians to see a detailed image of where the cyst is, how large it is, what structures it surrounds, and how the cyst affects the CSF flow pattern. Surgical removal will be scheduled if the cyst appears dangerous to the surrounding structures. At the time of the surgery, a small portion of the cyst will be examined by a pathologist to rule out or confirm the existence of any cancerous cells.
Colloid Cyst Treatment Options
A patient’s treatment can vary depending on the size and location of the cyst. Neurosurgeons may opt to complete one of the following procedures:
- Minimally invasive brain surgery: Minimally invasive techniques are used if a cyst is smaller in size and sits in an area of the brain that is easy to access. This surgery method requires an endoscope, a tool with a camera on its end for better visualization. The endoscope, along with additional tools, is inserted through a small opening in the skull. These openings are called burr holes and give doctors access to remove the cyst.
- Craniotomy: This is an ideal method of brain surgery used for larger cysts or cysts located in an area of the brain that is difficult to reach. This is a major procedure where surgeons will remove the bone flap (the top portion of the skull) for direct access to the cyst.
- CSF shunt: In rare cases, neurosurgeons will use a CSF shunt to relieve symptoms. A shunt is a tube-like device placed inside of the cyst for continual fluid draining. The surgeon will use a shunt if other removal methods are too dangerous for the patient or symptoms return. A shunt can be inserted temporarily either before or after surgery, working to drain fluid healthily into the body to alleviate pressure.
If a patient is diagnosed with a colloid cyst and is not experiencing any symptoms, doctors will choose not to remove the cyst. Unless it becomes too large, these cysts are not dangerous to the health of the patient. However, doctors will regularly monitor it to watch for growth or arising abnormalities.
Colloid Cyst Care at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics
Seeking the proper medical care for a colloid cyst can provide patients with many benefits. For example, early detection and observation can work to prevent future CSF blockage or additional complications. This is because physicians will have the chance to detect, catch, and treat any issues that may arise. If a cyst is causing irritating symptoms, removal can also help to relieve them.
Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics assists patients with a variety of neurological, spinal, and orthopedic conditions. With the latest advancements in medical technology and a team of top neurosurgeons, CNSO treats colloid cysts using the best methods available. By applying modern techniques for minimally invasive brain surgery, patients can experience less scarring, fewer post-operative side effects, and a quicker recovery time after removal. For more information about colloid cyst treatment in New Jersey throughout Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris, and Hudson counties, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today.