Feasibility and Challenges of Microsurgical Resection of Colloid Cysts in Patients with Preexisting Ventriculoperitoneal Shunts

Neil Majmundar, Max Ward, James K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Colloid cysts are the most common third ventricular tumor and may present with symptoms related to obstructive hydrocephalus. Although definitive endoscopic or microsurgical resection is the standard of care, patients may receive temporizing ventriculoperitoneal shunts when definitive management is deferred. Subsequent definitive treatment can be challenging because of the ventricular collapse and narrowing of the operative corridor. There is currently no literature evaluating the feasibility of definitive colloid cyst resection in patients with preexisting ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records for patients undergoing colloid cyst resection between 2009 and 2019 to identify patients with preexisting shunts prior to surgery. Results: Three patients had preexisting ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Two patients had been shunted at outside institutions where microsurgical or endoscopic resection was not available. One patient received a shunt from an outside surgeon when she was deemed a poor surgical candidate because of cardiac instability. All 3 patients underwent successful gross total colloid cyst resection via the transcallosal approach without recurrences during a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. All patients had intact cognitive and memory function and returned to work. Conclusions: Surgical resection of colloid cysts is possible despite a preexisting ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Because the ventricular space may be collapsed postoperatively because of cerebrospinal fluid diversion, a transcortical route (either endoscopic or microscopic) can be complicated by a small operative corridor with reduced visibility. The transcallosal approach was safe and feasible in these cases for providing midline access with adequate visualization for complete resection despite ventricular collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e492-e497
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Colloid cyst
  • Endoscopy
  • Interforniceal
  • Microsurgery
  • Transcallosal
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

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