Technological developments in neuroendoscopy are leading to an expansion of applications into the realm of microneurosurgical procedures. The new dimension that using an endoscope provides requires insight into different neuroanatomical aspects and a new kind of strategy in planning a microneurosurgical procedure. To gain some new insights into these exciting aspects of neurosurgery we have explored the sellar, parasellar, and posterior fossa regions in 50 fresh anatomical specimens and used various types of endoscopes to observe the surgically relevant neurotopographical details. We then utilized this experience in 33 clinical cases during microsurgical approaches for various lesions (posterior fossa tumors — 12 cases, sellar and parasellar tumors — 8 cases, transsphenoidal procedures for pituitary adenoma — 7 cases, transventricular procedures — 6 cases). In the laboratory we found that familiar neuroanatomical structures are seen in a completely different aspect from what we are accustomed. Orientation is at times difficult, which requires rehearsal and special handling of the endoscope for complex clinical procedures. We found that certain structures that are hardly noticed in routine anatomical views become very important when utilizing the endoscope (i.e., different arachnoid membranes and trabeculae). Importantly, the dimensions of a microsurgical approach can be greatly enlarged with the endoscope, making it possible to look behind structures and “around corners”. We present our findings with respect to important anatomical details relevant to utilizing the endoscope as an adjunct to microneurosurgical procedures and our clinical data. We have concluded that the neuroendoscope can be a safe and helpful adjunct in many microneurosurgical procedures.
KeywordsNeuroendoscopy microsurgery neuroanatomy
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