Thanks to advances in technology and surgical techniques, many brain and spinal tumors once thought to be inaccessible or too risky to operate on can now be treated.

The endoscope allows us to treat these tumors successfully with lower infection rates, faster recovery and far fewer potential deficits. Our neurosurgeons have been using endoscopy since the summer of 2012. We are still the only hospital in the Kansas City region with surgeons trained in the advanced, minimally invasive approach to intracranial diseases. 

In many cases, the whole procedure can be done through a small hole using the neuroendoscope alone, in others the endoscope is used in combination with the surgical microscope during an open craniotomy (endoscopic-assisted surgery).

Skull-base tumors

By accessing the brain via the nasal septum, sphenoid sinus and sella, we can reach the skull-base tumors with far lower morbidity than we could via craniotomy. This is true for most skull-base tumors – especially:

  • pituitary adenomas
  • meningiomas
  • chordomas
  • craniopharyngiomas
  • Rathke cleft cysts and malignancies

In addition, patients appreciate the quick recovery, lack of externally visible incisions and minimal facial swelling.

Intraventricular tumors

Compared with a traditional craniotomy, this technique uses a much smaller corridor to precisely access the lesion, resulting in remarkably less damage to existing tissue. Patients heal faster, have lower infection rates and are able to avoid unnecessary damage to neurological function.

A multidisciplinary team approach

The success of endoscopic neurosurgery is based on a team approach, with neuro-imaging, surgery and many other disciplines working hand in hand. These procedures also often require close coordination among the patient's primary physician, otolarynologist, endocrinologist, oncologist, neurologist, radiation oncologist and neurosurgeon.