actually, there is no treatment for arachnoid cysts without surgery.
There has been active debate about how to treat arachnoid cysts. The need for treatment depends mostly upon the location and size of the cyst. If the cyst is small, not disturbing surrounding tissue, and not causing symptoms, some doctors will refrain from treatment. In the past, doctors placed shunts in the cyst to drain its fluid. Now with micro neurosurgical techniques and endoscopic tools that allow for minimally invasive surgery, more doctors are opting to surgically remove the membranes of the cyst or open the cyst so its fluid can drain into the cerebrospinal fluid and be absorbed.
Most arachnoid cysts are stable and do not require treatment. Arachnoid cysts are diagnosed with a CT or MRI scan. Treatment, if necessary, involves draining the fluid through surgery or shunting.
There are three surgical options for treating an arachnoid cyst:
A pediatric neurosurgeon may place a permanent drainage system, a type of shunt, to drain fluid from the cyst and reduce pressure on the brain. A permanent shunt drains fluid from the cyst into the abdomen, where it is reabsorbed harmlessly into the body. This is a relatively simple surgical procedure but is usually done as a last resort by the pediatric neurosurgeons .
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An open surgical procedure called fenestration is more complex than the surgery to install a shunt, but the success rates are very good. In a cyst fenestration, the pediatric neurosurgeon opens the skull to gain access to the cyst, then opens the cyst to release pressure allowing the contents to be absorbed naturally by the brain.
Endoscopic cyst fenestration is an advanced technique that has the benefits of fenestration without the risks of open surgery, combined with the simplicity of shunting without the risk of shunt complications. It’s a short, safe procedure in which the neurosurgeon uses an endoscope (a type of tube with a camera), to drain the cyst internally. The procedure takes only 30 minutes to an hour to perform, and patients can return home the following day.
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An arachnoid cyst that does not cause any and most arachnoid cysts are stable and do not require treatment.
After rupture, subdural effusion must develop around the cyst. As this effusion is absorbed, the fluid in the cyst drains away, after which the cyst becomes smaller and gradually disappears. This supports the possibility of a “natural cure” for arachnoid cysts without surgical intervention. Spinal arachnoid cysts may be treated by the complete surgical removal (resection) of the cyst, if possible. Surgery generally leads to a resolution of symptoms. In some cases, complete surgical removal of a spinal cyst is not possible.
Untreated, arachnoid cysts may cause permanent severe neurological damage when progressive expansion of the cyst(s) or bleeding into the cyst injures the brain or spinal cord. Large brain cysts can block the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which can cause increased pressure on the brain. Cysts can also leak into other areas of the brain, or blood vessels on the cyst's surface can bleed into the cyst causing a hematoma. If left untreated, cysts can cause neurological damage.
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