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Sellar arachnoid cysts are rare growths located in the brain that can form naturally or develop as a result of an injury or surgery. If you are experiencing sellar arachnoid cyst symptoms and require treatment, you’ll need a highly skilled team experienced in sellar arachnoid cyst management. Here’s what you need to know about this condition and how the specialists at Endeavor Health Neurosciences Institute’s Advanced Neurosciences Center can help. 

What is a sellar arachnoid cyst?

Sellar arachnoid cysts are fluid-filled pockets located in the arachnoid, one of the three membranes covering parts of the central nervous system. In most cases, sellar arachnoid cysts are present at birth (congenital) and are known as primary sellar arachnoid cysts. The exact cause of congenital cysts is unknown.

Sellar arachnoid cysts can also develop from a head injury, brain surgery, or a tumor in the brain. In those cases, they are called secondary sellar arachnoid cysts.

Sellar arachnoid cyst symptoms

Sellar arachnoid cysts are rare and occur more often in males than females. Often, sellar arachnoid cysts present no symptoms, and an individual can live a healthy and unaffected life. However, if the cyst grows large enough to put pressure on the nearby pituitary gland or vision pathway, it can cause symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the size and specific location of the cyst and can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Visible lumps on the head or spine
  • Developmental delays
  • Hydrocephalus that is caused by an obstruction of normal cerebrospinal fluid
  • Hormone-related endocrine concerns, such as the early onset of puberty
  • Involuntary head bobbing
  • Vision problems

Diagnosing a sellar arachnoid cyst

As with other health concerns, consult your physician for a full examination if you recognize symptoms that could indicate sellar arachnoid cysts. If your doctor suspects a cyst, follow-up testing may include: 

Because of the cyst’s proximity to the pituitary gland, your physician may want to assess your hormone function. A bloodwork panel can provide your doctor information about whether the cyst is affecting the pituitary gland’s ability to produce and regulate hormones. 

An MRI is the favored imaging technique radiologists use to identify and characterize sellar arachnoid cysts. It provides detailed images of the brain, allowing physicians to assess the cyst’s location, size, and impact on surrounding structures.

Treatment for a sellar arachnoid cyst

Treatment for a sellar arachnoid cyst depends on the size, location, and degree of symptoms. If you have no symptoms, your doctor may want to see you regularly for monitoring. For symptomatic patients, surgery may be required. Surgical options include shunting, craniotomy fenestration, and an endoscopic cyst fenestration. The specialists at the Advanced Neurosciences Center are highly trained and experienced in minimally invasive surgeries for cysts in the brain.

What to do after a sellar arachnoid cyst diagnosis

Many people with sellar arachnoid cysts will live a healthy and unaffected life without any treatment. However, if you have sellar arachnoid cyst symptoms and require treatment, you’ll want a team of specialists who provide innovative and compassionate care. At the Advanced Neurosciences Center, we’ve got you. Whether you come to us for a second opinion or to create a treatment plan, our priority is you. Your team is ready. 

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