Removal of an ICH through an eyebrow incision

J Neurosurg 117:767–773, 2012

Surgical evacuation of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) remains a subject of controversy. Minimally invasive techniques for hematoma evacuation have shown a trend toward improved outcomes. The aim of the present study is to describe a minimally invasive alternative for the evacuation of sICH and evaluate its feasibility.
The authors reviewed records of all patients who underwent endoscopic evacuation of an sICH at the UCLA Medical Center between March 2002 and March 2011. All patients in whom the described technique was used for evacuation of an sICH were included in this series. In this approach an incision is made at the superior margin of the eyebrow, and a bur hole is made in the supraorbital bone lateral to the frontal sinus. Using stereotactic guidance, the surgeon advanced the endoscopic sheath along the long axis of the hematoma and fixed it in place at two specific depths where suction was then applied until 75%–85% of the preoperatively determined hematoma volume was removed. An endoscope’s camera, then introduced through the sheath, was used to assist in hemostasis. Preoperative and postoperative hematoma volumes and reduction in midline shift were calculated and recorded. Admission Glasgow Coma Scale and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were compared with postoperative scores.
Six patients underwent evacuation of an sICH using the eyebrow/bur hole technique. The mean preoperative hematoma volume was 68.9 ml (range 30.2–153.9 ml), whereas the mean postoperative residual hematoma volume was 11.9 ml (range 5.1–24.1 ml) (p = 0.02). The mean percentage of hematoma evacuated was 79.2% (range 49%–92.7%). The mean reduction in midline shift was 57.8% (p < 0.01). The Glasgow Coma Scale score improved in each patient between admission and discharge examination. In 5 of the 6 patients the mRS score improved from admission exam to last follow-up. None of the patients experienced rebleeding.
This minimally invasive technique is a feasible alternative to other means of evacuating sICHs. It is intended for anterior basal ganglia hematomas, which usually have an elongated, ovoid shape. The approach allows for an optimal trajectory to the long axis of the hematoma, making it possible to evacuate the vast majority of the clot with only one pass of the endoscopic sheath, theoretically minimizing the amount of damage to normal brain.