Colloid Cysts
Overview

A colloid cyst is a rare, non-cancerous or benign, tumor that is comprised of a mucous-like fluid in a round or oval shape. These slow-growing size can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters and are found in the area of the brain known as the third ventricle. When the size of the colloid cyst becomes large enough to impede the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), it results in a buildup of CSF in the adjacent ventricles and causes hydrocephalus and elevated pressure in the brain.

Symptoms
Because colloid cysts are rare and slow-growing, they often go undiagnosed in cases where they are asymptomatic. For those who do exhibit symptoms, the most common symptoms for colloid cysts are headaches, dizziness, cognitive problems, vomiting, visual changes, and loss of consciousness. 
Diagnosis

Diagnosing a colloid cyst can be accomplished by completing either a CT or MRI scan of the brain, although MRI's offer a slight advantage by being able to see how the cyst reacts to the signal intensities. Something to be aware of, however, is that intraventricular hemorrhages often display identically to a colloid cyst on scans and should be considered during the diagnosis.

 

Treatment

There are three established treatments for colloid cysts. 

1. Minimally Invasive Neuroendoport Surgery

2. Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery

3. Colloid Cyst Aspiration

Colloid cysts can be treated by any of these methods, but your surgeon will decide which approach is best for your particular situation. Minimally invasive Neuroendoport surgery is performed by creating a burr hole in the skull and inserting a narrowing shunt in order to disrupt the least amount of brain tissue. Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery also involves a very small incision coupled with an endoscope which provides less tissue disruption and a fuller view for the surgeon to have a cleaner extraction with smaller margins. Cyst aspiration doesn't extract the colloid cyst, but attempts to normalize it by draining the cyst. This last option is not generally preferred unless the situation dictates that the first two options are not feasible.

Prognosis
Most patients respond well to treatment for a colloid cyst and have a good prognosis. With the advent of newer minimally invasive techniques, outcomes have improved significantly while recovery times have continued to decrease. 
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