Endoscopic Craniopharyngioma Surgery in New Jersey

Endoscopic craniopharyngioma surgery is a procedure that treats a rare and noncancerous tumor called craniopharyngioma. This mass typically grows near the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, two important areas of the brain. Although craniopharyngiomas are slow-growing and will not spread to other parts of the body, they can still become enlarged and interfere with surrounding areas in the brain. Craniopharyngiomas occur more frequently in children and young adults, and they can impact aspects such as growth, vision, and hormones.

Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics uses state-of-the-art technology to perform endoscopic surgery. This minimally invasive procedure  works to remove the tumor while preserving pituitary function. Using an endoscope alongside additional tools, neurosurgeons have the ability to see the mass directly and easily remove it through techniques that will not leave a visible scar. Learn more about what to expect when receiving endoscopic craniopharyngioma surgery in New Jersey with Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics.

Preparing for Endoscopic Craniopharyngioma Surgery

In preparation for this procedure, patients should refrain from smoking at least two weeks before surgery. This will allow better and faster healing, as well as fewer complications throughout the surgery. In addition, patients should avoid taking over-the-counter pain prescriptions. The medical team at CNSO will review in detail each patient’s care plan prior to surgery including medical history, prescriptions, and any other preparation instructions.

What to Expect During Surgery

Prior to the operation, patients will change into a gown, and they will receive an IV. This IV ensures patients have enough fluids and medicine throughout the procedure. Individuals are under general anesthesia during the case.

To begin the surgery, surgeons will use a tool called an endoscope. This device has a light and a camera on its end to give surgeons a detailed look at the tumor. The endoscope and other tools are inserted through the nostrils and up into the brain. The neurosurgeon will then remove the craniopharyngioma through the nose. Next, a biopsy of the mass will be extracted to ensure the growth is not cancerous.

Although there is a surgical plan in place, it could change at any time throughout the procedure. In some cases, the mass may have taken over parts of the pituitary gland. To treat it, the neurosurgeon may opt to remove both the tumor and the pituitary gland to relieve patient symptoms. Partial removal may be indicated if the tumor is wrapped around important brain structures. In this case, the surgeon will remove as much as possible during the procedure, but patients will need additional treatment. There are also instances in which surgical removal may be too dangerous for the patient.

Recovering From Endoscopic Craniopharyngioma Surgery

Immediately following surgery, patients will go to a post-operative room where nurses will watch for any complications. Neurosurgeons will place bandages over the nose to help with excess bleeding. Patients should expect to be in the hospital for at least one to two days after surgery, and physicians will remove bandages within one week. Antibiotics will be prescribed to promote safe healing and avoid infections.

Because endoscopic craniopharyngioma surgery is performed through the nares, patients will experience no scarring, fewer post-operative side effects, and a quicker recovery time. If neurosurgeons cannot completely remove the tumor, patients will need additional treatment to eliminate the remaining growth cells. Treatment could include:

  • Radiation therapy: This form of treatment is the most common method used to slow down or treat leftover tumor cells. If a craniopharyngioma is small enough, it may only require radiation treatment. This therapy method uses X-rays to destroy remaining tumor cells and prevent them from evolving.
  • Proton beam therapy: An alternative treatment method to radiation therapy, proton beam therapy uses protons to slow down or treat cancer in the brain. Similar to radiation therapy, surgeons will use proton beam therapy to eliminate any remaining craniopharyngioma cells that could multiply. The length and duration of the treatment sessions will depend on how much of the tumor the surgeon can remove.
  • Gamma knife for brain tumors: This is a method of treatment that targets the growth of craniopharyngioma cells. Physicians will use a machine to project gamma rays directly into the area with the leftover tumor. A gamma knife procedure also works to slow down or decrease the growth of cancerous cells.

Not only will surgeons use these therapies as an extra measure to get rid of cancerous cells, but they will also use them if a tumor reappears following surgery. If any issues arise throughout a patient’s recovery, they should notify their physician immediately as this could indicate a problem with the surgery site or other underlying conditions.

Endoscopic Craniopharyngioma Surgery at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics

Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics aims to restore a better quality of life for patients. CNSO’s team of top neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, and physicians are extensively trained to provide comprehensive brain, spine, and musculoskeletal care. With a dedication to surgical excellence and patient collaboration, patients can receive the assistance they need for a variety of conditions.

Utilizing the most advanced technology for brain and spine surgery, CNSO offers both surgical and non-surgical treatments to those throughout Northern New Jersey. To learn more about endoscopic craniopharyngioma surgery, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today.


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Our Medical Staff

In order to provide an accurate diagnosis with the most effective treatment option for “back problems” and brain tumors, CNSO is led by neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. Under the care of our award-winning neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons, Northern NJ patients can have the confidence that their medical condition will be handled with consideration for their comfort and long-term well-being as well as technical excellence.

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