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Caitlin Hoffman, Melissa Yuan, Andre E. Boyke, Ashley O’Connor, Therese Haussner, Imali Perera and Mark Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

In recent years, the Weill Cornell neurosurgical team noticed an increase in referrals for plagiocephaly, likely due to increased infant back-sleeping and awareness. A plagiocephaly clinic staffed by a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant was established in 2016 to meet this demand, and to decrease the nonsurgical case burden on neurosurgeons. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a clinic directed by advanced nonphysician practice providers (NPPs) on parental satisfaction and nonsurgical work hours for staff neurosurgeons.

METHODS

Over a 1.5-year period (from January 1, 2016, to June 20, 2017), Likert scale–based surveys were administered to parents before and after their child’s visit to the NPP-staffed clinic. Clinic hours were tracked to assess impact on the neurosurgeon’s workload.

RESULTS

All 185 patients seen in the plagiocephaly clinic over the 1.5-year period completed pre- and postvisit surveys. Parents all reported a significant reduction in their level of concern for their child’s diagnosis after the evaluation, and 95.5% were “very likely” to recommend the clinic. All parents felt that there was an increase in their knowledge base after an appointment with an NPP. Additionally, over 1 year in the study, 170 visits to the NPP plagiocephaly clinic were recorded, resulting in 85 hours that neurosurgeons normally would have spent in the clinic that they now were able to spend in the operating room.

CONCLUSIONS

This research provides evidence that an NPP-directed clinic can positively impact parental satisfaction and decrease nonsurgical case burden on neurosurgeons.

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Jacques J. Lara-Reyna, Rafael Uribe-Cardenas, Imali Perera, Nicholas Szerlip, Anastasios Giamouriadis, Nicole Savage, Therese Haussner and Mark M. Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

Removal of colloid cysts of the third ventricle using a purely endoscopic method has been established as a safe and advantageous technique. It is hypothesized that endoscopic removal in recurrent cases might pose more technical challenges and result in less success. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and outcomes of using a purely endoscopic approach for the management of recurrent colloid cysts compared to primary cysts.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients who underwent purely endoscopic removal of their colloid cyst. Descriptive statistics were compared for patients undergoing surgery for a recurrent cyst and those for a control cohort undergoing surgery for a primary cyst. Bivariate analysis was conducted using a Fisher’s exact test for categorical variables and Mann-Whitney U-test for continuous variables.

RESULTS

In total, 121 patients had a primary colloid cyst endoscopically removed and 10 patients had a total of 11 recurrent cysts removed. Recurrence or progression after surgery occurred in 3 (2.5%) cases in the primary cyst group and 2 (18.2%) cases in the recurrent cyst group. Symptomatic presentation during the follow-up period occurred in 6 (54.5%) cases in the recurrent cyst group versus 75 (62%) cases in the primary cyst group (p = 0.749). Two patients (20%) in the recurrent group had a second recurrence in a mean period of 30 months (1 patient at 15 and 1 patient at 45 months). One of these patients required a tertiary endoscopic removal 8 years after the second resection. No immediate postoperative complications or new morbidities were observed after repeat endoscopic surgery. The authors’ findings indicated a nonsignificant trend toward a higher recurrence rate (18.2% vs 2.5%, p = 0.055) and a decreased proportion of complete removal (90.9% vs 81.8%, p = 0.296) in the recurrent cyst group compared to the primary cyst group. However, a significantly higher rate of preoperative hydrocephalus was observed in the primary cyst group compared with the recurrent cyst group (63.6% vs 18.2%, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Purely endoscopic approaches for the removal of recurrent colloid cysts of the third ventricle are feasible and equally safe compared with endoscopic removal of primary cysts. The study’s findings did not show a statistically significant difference in the rate of recurrence between the 2 groups. The proportion of patients with symptomatic cysts on presentation was lower in patients with recurrent cysts than in patients with primary cysts. Due to the high rate of complete removal with negligible morbidity, the authors continue to advocate for an endoscopic removal at the time of cyst recurrence.

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Du Cheng, Melissa Yuan, Imali Perera, Ashley O’Connor, Alexander I. Evins, Thomas Imahiyerobo, Mark Souweidane and Caitlin Hoffman

OBJECTIVE

Craniosynostosis correction, including cranial vault remodeling, fronto-orbital advancement (FOA), and endoscopic suturectomy, requires practical experience with complex anatomy and tools. The infrequent exposure to complex neurosurgical procedures such as these during residency limits extraoperative training. Lack of cadaveric teaching tools given the pediatric nature of synostosis compounds this challenge. The authors sought to create lifelike 3D printed models based on actual cases of craniosynostosis in infants and incorporate them into a practical course for endoscopic and open correction. The authors hypothesized that this training tool would increase extraoperative facility and familiarity with cranial vault reconstruction to better prepare surgeons for in vivo procedures.

METHODS

The authors utilized representative craniosynostosis patient scans to create 3D printed models of the calvaria, soft tissues, and cranial contents. Two annual courses implementing these models were held, and surveys were completed by participants (n = 18, 5 attending physicians, 4 fellows, 9 residents) on the day of the course. These participants were surveyed during the course and 1 year later to assess the impact of this training tool. A comparable cohort of trainees who did not participate in the course (n = 11) was also surveyed at the time of the 1-year follow-up to assess their preparation and confidence with performing craniosynostosis surgeries.

RESULTS

An iterative process using multiple materials and the various printing parameters was used to create representative models. Participants performed all major surgical steps, and we quantified the fidelity and utility of the model through surveys. All attendees reported that the model was a valuable training tool for open reconstruction (n = 18/18 [100%]) and endoscopic suturectomy (n = 17/18 [94%]). In the first year, 83% of course participants (n = 14/17) agreed or strongly agreed that the skin and bone materials were realistic and appropriately detailed; the second year, 100% (n = 16/16) agreed or strongly agreed that the skin material was realistic and appropriately detailed, and 88% (n = 14/16) agreed or strongly agreed that the bone material was realistic and appropriately detailed. All participants responded that they would use the models for their own personal training and the training of residents and fellows in their programs.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors have developed realistic 3D printed models of craniosynostosis including soft tissues that allow for surgical practice simulation. The use of these models in surgical simulation provides a level of preparedness that exceeds what currently exists through traditional resident training experience. Employing practical modules using such models as part of a standardized resident curriculum is a logical evolution in neurosurgical education and training.

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Du Cheng, Melissa Yuan, Imali Perera, Ashley O’Connor, Alexander I. Evins, Thomas Imahiyerobo, Mark Souweidane and Caitlin Hoffman

OBJECTIVE

Craniosynostosis correction, including cranial vault remodeling, fronto-orbital advancement (FOA), and endoscopic suturectomy, requires practical experience with complex anatomy and tools. The infrequent exposure to complex neurosurgical procedures such as these during residency limits extraoperative training. Lack of cadaveric teaching tools given the pediatric nature of synostosis compounds this challenge. The authors sought to create lifelike 3D printed models based on actual cases of craniosynostosis in infants and incorporate them into a practical course for endoscopic and open correction. The authors hypothesized that this training tool would increase extraoperative facility and familiarity with cranial vault reconstruction to better prepare surgeons for in vivo procedures.

METHODS

The authors utilized representative craniosynostosis patient scans to create 3D printed models of the calvaria, soft tissues, and cranial contents. Two annual courses implementing these models were held, and surveys were completed by participants (n = 18, 5 attending physicians, 4 fellows, 9 residents) on the day of the course. These participants were surveyed during the course and 1 year later to assess the impact of this training tool. A comparable cohort of trainees who did not participate in the course (n = 11) was also surveyed at the time of the 1-year follow-up to assess their preparation and confidence with performing craniosynostosis surgeries.

RESULTS

An iterative process using multiple materials and the various printing parameters was used to create representative models. Participants performed all major surgical steps, and we quantified the fidelity and utility of the model through surveys. All attendees reported that the model was a valuable training tool for open reconstruction (n = 18/18 [100%]) and endoscopic suturectomy (n = 17/18 [94%]). In the first year, 83% of course participants (n = 14/17) agreed or strongly agreed that the skin and bone materials were realistic and appropriately detailed; the second year, 100% (n = 16/16) agreed or strongly agreed that the skin material was realistic and appropriately detailed, and 88% (n = 14/16) agreed or strongly agreed that the bone material was realistic and appropriately detailed. All participants responded that they would use the models for their own personal training and the training of residents and fellows in their programs.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors have developed realistic 3D printed models of craniosynostosis including soft tissues that allow for surgical practice simulation. The use of these models in surgical simulation provides a level of preparedness that exceeds what currently exists through traditional resident training experience. Employing practical modules using such models as part of a standardized resident curriculum is a logical evolution in neurosurgical education and training.