Surgery for deep-seated brain lesions without causing significant trauma to the overlying cortex is difficult because brain retraction is required to approach these lesions.
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of endoport-guided endoscopic or microscopic removal for deep-seated lesions using the neuronavigation system.
Between October 2008 and December 2009, 21 patients (17 men and 4 women; average age, 40.8 years) underwent endoport-guided endoscopic tumor removal. We adapted the transparent tubular conduit, so-called “endoport,” to target the lesions under the guidance of neuronavigation. We then determined the efficacy and limitations of this technique with fully endoscopic removal, compared with standard approaches using a spatula retractor. Gross total resection of the lesions was achieved in 14 of 21 patients (66%), and partial removal occurred in four (19%) patients. However, there was failure to remove the lesion through the endoport in three patients (14.3%), requiring the use of blade spatula retractors. In reviewing the seven cases with either failure or partial removal, it was found that a large tumor size (≥3 cm) and calcified lesions were the major factors limiting the application of this technique.
Endoport-guided endoscopic surgery facilitated an accurate and minimally invasive technique for removal of these deep-seated brain lesions. This procedure required a protracted learning curve although, when successful, this approach can minimize brain retraction and provide satisfactory visualization.