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Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition that mimics symptoms of a brain tumor and literally means "false brain tumor." It is due to a buildup of pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull.
Pseudotumor cerebri can cause vision problems and severe headaches.
Typically, doctors treat this condition non-surgically through weight loss and medications. For severe cases of pseudotumor cerebri that don't respond to other treatments, surgery may be necessary.
UPMC neurosurgeons may use ventriculoperitoneal shunts to drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on the brain, or if the condition is causing optic nerve compression, we may use the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA).
This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
To diagnose pseudotumor cerebri, doctors need to:
Symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri may be similar to symptoms in patients with brain tumors.
The most common symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include:
Weight loss, diuretics, and other medications may help to relieve the pressure and the resulting symptoms caused by pseudotumor cerebri.
In cases where the symptoms are severe and don't respond to weight loss or medications, surgical treatment may be required to relieve the pressure and to preserve vision.
Ventriculoperitoneal shunts are placed using state-of-the-art image guidance to drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on the brain.
Optic nerve decompression may be performed using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the problem area through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then decompress the nerve through the nose and nasal cavities.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
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