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What is Subependymoma?

Subependymomas are benign tumors in the ventricles that grow from the ventricular wall into the spinal fluid spaces within the brain.

These lesions may obstruct spinal fluid flow and/or put pressure on surrounding structures, causing symptoms including headaches and confusion.

At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for subependymoma is Neuroendoport® surgery. Neuroendoport surgery gives surgeons access to the lesions through a dime-size channel. This minimally invasive approach offers benefits such as:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Fewer side effects and complications
  • Faster recovery times than with traditional surgery

Diagnosing Subependymoma

Subependymomas can be identified by imaging studies such as MRI or CT scans.

Symptoms of subependymoma

Your doctor will also ask you about your symptoms to determine whether there is a correlation to a subependymoma diagnosis.

These may include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or loss of sensation in the arms and/or legs
  • Speech, vision, or memory problems
  • Personality changes

Subependymoma Treatment

Surgery is the standard treatment for subependymomas.

UPMC's neurosurgical team thoroughly evaluates each patient before surgery. We try to find a path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning after treatment.

Neuroendoport® Surgery

Neuroendoport surgery offers a minimally invasive option for tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces) or deep-seated tumors within the substance of the brain. A narrow tube or port allows surgeons to access the subependymomas through a tiny incision in the scalp, in contrast to traditional brain surgery.

Neuroendoport® Surgery
This animation illustrates the removal of a metastasis using the Neuroendoport technique.

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