The authors' intention is to reduce the invasiveness of intracranial procedures while avoiding traumatization of brain tissue, to decrease the risk of neurological and mental deficits. Intracranial endoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that provides rapid access to the target via small burr holes without the need for brain retraction. Craniotomy as well as microsurgical brain splitting and dissection can often be avoided. Furthermore, because obstructed cerebrospinal fluid pathways can be physiologically restored, the need for shunt placement is eliminated. The ventricular system and subarachnoid spaces provide ideal conditions for the use of an endoscope. Therefore, a variety of disorders, such as hydrocephalus, small intraventricular lesions, and arachnoid and parenchymal cysts can be effectively treated using endoscopic techniques. With the aid of special instruments, laser fibers, and bipolar diathermy, even highly vascularized lesions such as cavernomas may be treated. Moreover, during standard microsurgical procedures, the endoscopic view may provide valuable additional information ("looking around a corner") about the individual anatomy that is not visible with the microscope. In transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, transseptal dissection can be avoided if an endonasal approach is taken. In the depth of the intrasellar space, the extent of tumor removal can be more accurately controlled, especially in larger tumors with para- and suprasellar growth.
The combined use of endoscopes and computerized neuronavigation systems increases the accuracy of the approach and provides real-time control of the endoscope tip position and approach trajectory. In the future, the indications for neuroendoscopy will certainly expand with improved technical equipment.