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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-112

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Department of Neurosurgery , Advanced Neuroscience Institute, BGS Global Hospital, Uttarahalli Road, Kengeri, Bangalore - 560 060, India

Date of Web Publication29-Oct-2009

Correspondence Address:
N K Venkataramana
Advanced Neuroscience Institute, BGS Global Hospital, No. 67, Uttarahalli Road, Kengeri, Bangalore - 560 60
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1745.57329

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How to cite this article:
Venkataramana N K, Rao SA, Naik AL. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy. J Pediatr Neurosci 2009;4:108-12

How to cite this URL:
Venkataramana N K, Rao SA, Naik AL. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy. J Pediatr Neurosci [serial online] 2009 [cited 2023 Feb 7];4:108-12. Available from: https://www.pediatricneurosciences.com/text.asp?2009/4/2/108/57329

Neuroendoscopy has revolutionized the management of hydrocephalus. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is gaining popularity as a technique with several advantages. However, proper selection of the patient based on the age, pathology and imaging is necessary to achieve the best surgical results. In addition, it is important to follow meticulous steps during surgery in order to avoid complications. On the basis of pathology and images the site for the burrhole is chosen. After a detailed study of images, particularly sagittal MRI sections [Figure 1], a precoronal burrhole in the midpupillary line is made for the third ventriculostomy. The burrhole position may be shifted forward or backward depending on the necessity to examine the aqueduct or other third ventricular regions. The child is positioned supine under general anesthesia. The part that has to be operated is prepared and draped [Figure 2]. A curvilinear skin incision, about 1.5 cm long is made in the precoronal region. A small skin flap is raised [Figure 3]. The periostium is separated [Figure 4] and a burrhole is made using either a high-speed drill or Hudson's brace [Figure 5]. The dura is opened cruciately. It is advisable to introduce the ventricular cannula and examine the depth and intraventricular pressure [Figure 6]. The outer sheath and stillet is passed through a cortical incision in the direction of the lateral ventricle till a "give way" is felt upon entering the ventricle [Figure 7]. A preassembled operating scope, initially "0," is then passed through the sheath [Figure 8]. As the scope is passing through, the parenchyma and the ventricular cavity is seen successively. In the lateral ventricle, it is important to have the proper anatomical orientation. The camera is thus adjusted accordingly. We need to identify the lateral wall, floor and the septum pellucidum [Figure 9]. At the junction of the septum and the floor, the choroid plexus is identified. The choroid plexus is an important and constant landmark to follow. It leads anteriorly to the foramen of Monroe [Figure 10]. At the foramen, one can see the choroid plexus entering the third ventricle. The thalamostriate vein and the anterior fornix are also important landmarks. At this juncture, the structures in the third ventricles will be faintly visible [Figure 11]. The scope is then gently advanced into the third ventricle through the foramen of Monroe. The structures of the floor of the third ventricle are now clearly visible [Figure 12]. Tuber cinereum is a bright red spot located anteriorly in the midline. The paired mamillary bodies are located posteriorly. Dorsum sella and basilar artery pulsations can also be seen if the floor is very thin. The ideal landmark for ventriculostomy is in the midline just anterior to the mamillary bodies. The floor is thinnest here. Initially, either bipolar or monopolar probe is used to perforate the floor by making "half twist" movements [Figure 13]. A Fogarty catheter, size 4 French units, is subsequently passed through the perforated floor. The balloon is gently inflated to enlarge the opening in the floor, and then deflated [Figure 14]. This inflation and deflation is repeated with saline till the required size of the opening is created [Figure 15]. It is essential to ensure that the floor is completely opened including the deeper arachnoid membrane in order to achieve successful result [Figure 16]. One can visualize the basilar artery and other prepontine structures by advancing the scope through the opening in the floor [Figure 17]. With a 30 angled scope one can look at the posterior part of the third ventricle, the massa intermedia and the aqueduct of Sylvius [Figure 18]. After ensuring that meticulous hemostasis the scope is gently removed from the third ventricle to lateral ventricle [Figure 19] and completely from further up. Throughout the procedure the ventricle is continuously irrigated with Ringer's lactate solution at body temperature. The cortical opening is filled with an absorbable gelatin (Gelfoam) sponge to reduce cerebrospinal fluid leak and subdural collection [Figure 20]. The skin over the burrhole is closed in two layers [Figure 21]. This procedure when performed correctly, in a properly selected child, yields rewarding results [Figure 22].

Safety tips

  • Assemble the endoscope properly, adjust focus, magnification and white balance
  • Orient yourself correctly
  • Ensure good illumination and clear visualization throughout the procedure
  • Maintain irrigation and ensure that the exit channels are open to avoid raised ICP
  • Do not panic in case of hemorrhage
  • Abandon the procedure when you are in doubt
  • Be prepared to do a craniotomy if there is an eventuality


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10], [Figure 11], [Figure 12], [Figure 13], [Figure 14], [Figure 15], [Figure 16], [Figure 17], [Figure 18], [Figure 19], [Figure 20], [Figure 21], [Figure 22]


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