Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

Patients with a dangerous buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain called hydrocephalus may get relief from endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) — a minimally invasive procedure that can relieve blockages. When appropriate, it can provide several advantages over more traditional treatment.

Learn more about the symptoms of hydrocephalus and our diagnostic approach.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) at St. Joseph’s Hospital

When you are a candidate for ETV at St. Joseph’s Hospital, you can count on:

  • Expertise: Our neurosurgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures — procedures that start with a smaller incision and use smaller, specialized tools and cameras.
  • Careful deliberation: Our neurosurgeons work closely with you and your loved ones to determine the best treatment. They might recommend another approach for treating hydrocephalus, an older but still effective procedure that involves a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Learn more about how we place a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.
  • Advanced tools: Special magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) techniques allow us to perform ETV for more patients than ever before, and the latest instruments for minimally invasive surgery have improved safety and effectiveness.
  • Follow-up care: We schedule additional appointments after your operation to make sure your intracranial pressure stays at safe levels.

Benefits of Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy can only relieve hydrocephalus caused by a blocked flow of cerebrospinal fluid — not when the condition has other causes, and not for all patients. But performing the procedure has advantages over placing a shunt (silicone tubing) to divert the fluid. These include:

  • A minimally invasive approach that only takes an hour or so
  • A quick recover 
  • Less risk for infection
  • Avoiding the insertion of a shunt — and the potential need to replace it

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy: What to Expect

There are several steps for performing an endoscopic third ventriculostomy:

  • You receive general anesthesia to put you completely asleep.
  • Your neurosurgeon creates a tiny opening in the skull (craniotomy) and starts to insert an endoscope — a thin tube with magnification and a miniaturized light and camera that projects images onto a high-definition monitor for clear reference during the operation.
  • The endoscope is threaded into the third ventricle — one of the cavities filled with cerebrospinal fluid, and the one located next to most blockages.
  • Your neurosurgeon makes a hole in the bottom of the ventricle, to bypass the blockage and provide a route for the fluid to once again get absorbed by the bloodstream.
  • Your surgeon repairs the skull opening.

Contact Us

For more information or for a physician referral, please call (813) 644-4322.