Dermoid cysts are space-occupying tumors that can occur anywhere in the neuroaxis. Although categorized as benign lesions, they can compromise normal structures, causing neurological function loss, and have a tendency to recur often requiring repeated surgical resections. We illustrate the case of an extensive epidural dermoid cyst in a 22-yr-old woman who presented with progressive loss of neurological motor function in her lower extremities as well as bowel and bladder incontinence. The tumor extended from T10 to the sacrum, and a conventional operation would have entailed serial laminectomies that would cross the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral junctions, possibly requiring an instrumented fusion. Given the fact that operation would have carried significant morbidity, especially with the high likelihood of symptomatic tumoral recurrence, we consulted with our urology colleagues to find a minimally invasive way of reducing the tumor burden and decompressing the neural elements. The patient was taken to the operating room and a limited open lumbosacral durotomy was performed. A flexible cystoscope was then passed in the epidural space and used to suction the tumor. Postoperative imaging showed adequate resection, and the patient recovered neurological function completely. She had mini-mal recurrence at 3 yr and remained asymptomatic. This technical video note showcases the potential for use of endoscopy for spine tumors that have an amenable consistency, even in highly eloquent areas such as the conus medullaris. It also serves to highlight the benefits of interdisciplinary cooperation when treating complex disease. This case report was written in compliance with our institutional ethical review board. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and patient consent was waived in light of the retrospective and deidentified nature of the data presented in accordance with the University of Texas SouthWestern IRB. Patient consent was waived for writing this manuscript in light of the retrospective and deidentified nature of the data presented in accordance with our institutional IRB.
- Dermoid cyst of the spine
- Interdisciplinary neurosurgery
- Minimally invasive spine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology