Encephaloceles

An Encephalocele is a condition where brain tissue herniates through a defect in the base of the skull. This condition can occur spontaneously, or be caused by other factors such as:

  • Trauma
  • Prior surgeries
  • Tumors

Symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Unexplained clear nasal drainage
  • Frequent episodes of meningitis

Encephaloceles are evaluated with a CT scan and/or MRI. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, surgery is required to repair the defect in the base of the skull. In the past, this would require an external incision and invasive craniotomy (removal of bone from the skull in order to expose the brain), and a lengthy hospital stay and recovery. However, with current techniques, this surgery can be performed endoscopically through the nose, requiring no external incisions and a shorter hospital stay. Sometimes, the surgery is performed with cooperation from an experienced neurosurgeon.

During the surgery, current endoscopic techniques are used to go through the nostrils and open the sinuses to expose the herniated brain tissue and the defect in the skull base. The brain tissue is returned into place or repaired. The skull defect is repaired through grafting other tissue over the opening. After surgery, the patient is monitored in the hospital for 1-3 days before being discharged home.

At the Raleigh Capitol Sinus and Allergy Center, our experienced surgeons will promptly evaluate your condition with care and compassion and order the appropriate diagnostic testing. After discussing surgical options with you, our surgeons will use the latest techniques to safely and effectively perform your surgery.

For an appointment contact us.