Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) is considered a most effective treatment for pituitary tumors with huge suprasellar extension. However, the chance of developing CSF leakage is relatively high, because tearing of the arachnoid membrane is common and there could be multiple tear points during the dissection of suprasellar tumors from the overlying arachnoid membrane. If there are multiple leaking points in the arachnoid membrane packing methods such as using fat or multilayered fascia graft may not be sufficient to seal off the leaking points. Moreover, the packing material may not provide sufficient tamponade to stop bleeding, and thus generates postoperative hematoma formation in the tumor resection cavity. To prevent these complications, the authors have developed a new technique for remodeling the redundant arachnoid pouch (the so-called snare technique) to reconstruct the diaphragm, seal off the CSF leak points completely, and reduce the dead space in the tumor resection cavity.
In 9 patients with huge macroadenomas (> 2.5 cm in diameter) with suprasellar extension, the snare technique was used to remodel the arachnoid pouch after tumor removal via standard TSS between July 2009 and August 2014. Complications were investigated, including postoperative CSF rhinorrhea, postoperative hematoma collection, and visual compromise.
During the resection of the tumor, CSF leakage was encountered in 8 cases, all of which were sealed off using the snare technique. In 1 case without intraoperative CSF leakage, the snare technique was also applied after intentional puncturing of the arachnoid membrane to reduce the volume and tension of the arachnoid pouch. None of the 9 patients experienced postoperative CSF rhinorrhea. Lumbar CSF drainage was not required in any case. Magnetic resonance imaging studies performed 24 hours after surgery revealed a remarkable reduction in the height of the diaphragm in all cases. Visual deficits improved in all patients immediately after surgery.
Remodeling of the arachnoid pouch using the snare technique is simple and effective for completely sealing off the CSF leak point and preventing hematoma collection in the tumor resection cavity after TSS for huge pituitary tumors with suprasellar extension.