What are Epidermoid Cysts?

ConditionsEpidermoid Cyst

Epidermoid cysts are benign growths that arise along the surface of the brain and can cause symptoms from increasing pressure on brain structures

Epidermoid cyst surgery is required to remove symptomatic cysts; fortunately, most can be removed through one of several endoscopic keyhole routes depending upon cyst location and size.

At the BTC, we have a large experience of epidermal cyst removal and have vast experience in minimally invasive endoscopic surgical approaches for all types of brain and skull base tumors. By incorporating cutting edge technology and instrumentation with proven surgical experience, we make surgery safer, less invasive and more effective.


Ketyhole brain surgery


Keyhole Brain Tumor

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These relatively uncommon benign cysts or tumors arise from stratified squamous epithelium along the surface of the brain. The most common locations are around the brainstem, pituitary gland and in the posterior fossa along the sides of the cerebellum.

As the epithelial lining continues to produce the soft white keratin material, the cyst puts pressure on the adjacent brain structures and cranial nerves. This cyst expansion can lead to headaches, weakness, imbalance, visual loss, double vision or seizures depending upon the cyst location. Some epidermoid cysts can rupture and result in a meningitis-type reaction from inflammation.

These cystic tumors are typically diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT) scans of the brain. Depending upon the location of an epidermoid cyst, a focused MRI of the pituitary region or internal auditory canals may be indicated to obtain better anatomical detail.

Epidermoid cyst surgery is required to remove large epidermoid tumors causing symptoms and is generally quite successful in resolving symptoms. Because the cyst lining can be very adherent to the brain structures, cranial nerves and blood vessels, a complete cyst removal may not be possible in many patients. If only a subtotal removal is accomplished, follow-up MRIs are necessary for many years to monitor for recurrence. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally not used for treating epidermoid cysts.

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