An endoscope is a tiny fiber optic device with powerful lenses, a light source and a digital video camera. Neurosurgeons at Harper often use endoscopes to perform minimally invasive exams and surgical procedures. Since no incisions are needed, patients experience virtually no pain and often return home after a short hospital stay.
Endoscopes are often used during cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerve surgery. The endoscope can be used alone or in conjunction with more traditional techniques. During more traditional open procedures, Harper neurosurgeons use endoscopes to examine confined areas. This improves outcomes and limits complications.
Other neurosurgical uses of endoscopes include:
- Pituitary tumor surgery – Harper neurosurgeons use an endoscopic approach to remove pituitary tumors. The traditional approach to this surgery requires extensive dissection and disruption of the nasal tissues. But when using an endoscope, no dissection is needed in the front portion of the nasal cavities. Only minimal reconstruction of the nasal tissue is needed after the tumor is removed.
- Spine surgery – Harper neurosurgeons use endoscopes to remove herniated discs and perform minimally invasive spinal surgery. Through the endoscopic approach, incisions are much smaller and patients experience less pain. The result: Decreased length of hospital stay and increased patient satisfaction.