An arachnoid cyst is a common type of cyst that grows in the brain. You are either born with them (called primary arachnoid cysts) or develop them due to a brain injury, trauma, or infection (referred to as secondary arachnoid cysts). Arachnoid cysts are not tumors and therefore, not indicative of cancer.
Arachnoid cysts, just like the cysts that develop on your skin are fluid-filled sacs. In the case of arachnoid cysts, they are filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
Arachnoid Cysts and the Brain
Arachnoid cysts develop either outside the temporal lobe or on the spine. The symptoms of arachnoid cysts largely depend on their location.
Scientists and doctors believe that arachnoid cysts develop due to a split of the arachnoid membrane, a layer that protects the brain. A lot of arachnoid cysts usually don’t cause symptoms. However, some arachnoid cysts do put pressure on the brain and can cause symptoms such as:
- Frequent headaches
- Vision problems
- The formation of visible lumps on the head
- Developmental delays
- Involuntary head bobbing
- Endocrine problems
If the presence of arachnoid cysts causes no problems, a brain surgeon may recommend no treatment at all. However, if the cysts cause problems and pain symptoms that interfere with your daily life, treatment may be recommended. This will entirely depend on the size and location of the cysts as well as the symptoms you are experiencing. Some patients are able to function fine with the cysts while others find them difficult to live with.
Arachnoid Cyst Treatment
Treating arachnoid cysts usually involves the draining of the fluid-filled sacs to relieve pressure. The procedures for treating arachnoid cysts include craniotomy and shunting. A craniotomy is a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the skull to puncture the cyst walls and let the fluid drain. Shunting involves the insertion of a tube into the cyst wall and leaving it there, allowing the fluid to drain gradually. Between the two, craniotomies are more commonly performed to treat arachnoid cysts. A doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment for you based on the size and location of the cysts, your medical history, and other factors.
Arachnoid Cyst Treatment in Colorado
If you have arachnoid cysts or suspect you may have them based on symptoms you are experiencing, treatment can help relieve your symptoms and help you get relief.
The surgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery are experts in all areas of neurosurgery, from cranial conditions and tumors to spine and nerve-related conditions. We have the knowledge, skill, training, and experience necessary to treat arachnoid cysts effectively and safely.
But more than our skill and expertise, our surgeons are kind, gentle, caring, and compassionate. Issues that concern the brain can be distressing, which is why we make sure that you are relaxed and comfortable with your treatment.