Is arachnoid cyst life threatening?

Untreated, arachnoid cysts may cause permanent severe neurological damage when progressive expansion of the cyst(s) or bleeding into the cyst injures the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms usually resolve or improve with treatment.

What are the side effects of an arachnoid cyst?

Depending on the size and location of the arachnoid cyst, symptoms can include:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Lethargy, including excessive fatigue or low energy.
  • Seizures.
  • Visible lumps or protrusions from the head or spine.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Hydrocephalus due to obstruction of normal cerebrospinal fluid circulation.

Can arachnoid cysts cause behavior problems?

Neurological signs may be present because arachnoid cysts may cause increased pressure on structures of the brain. Such neurological findings may include developmental delays, behavioral changes, an inability to control voluntary movements (ataxia), difficulties with balance and walking and cognitive impairment.

What happens if an arachnoid cyst ruptures?

With modern brain imaging studies, arachnoid cysts are often detected “incidentally”—during imaging tests performed for another reason. Although the cysts usually cause no harm, if they rupture (break open) or bleed, they can cause potentially serious problems requiring emergency treatment.

Should arachnoid cyst be removed?

Arachnoid cysts are non-neoplastic, intracranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-filled spaces lined with arachnoid membranes. Large arachnoid cysts are often symptomatic because they compress surrounding structures; therefore, they must be treated surgically.

Can an arachnoid cyst cause death?

The fluid inside the cyst is cerebrospinal fluid and the presence of these cysts can create life-threatening situations depending on their location and the symptoms they create. The most severe form of presentation can lead to bleeding (hemorrhage), damage to the central nervous system and sometimes even death.

How long does arachnoid cyst surgery take?

It’s a short, safe procedure in which the neurosurgeon uses an endoscope (a type of tube with a camera), to drain the cyst internally. The procedure takes only 30 minutes to an hour to perform, and patients can return home the following day.

Is arachnoid cyst cancerous?

A brain cyst is a balloon-like sphere found in the brain. The most common—the arachnoid cyst—is full of cerebrospinal fluid. Other types can contain pus, hair follicles or skin cells. They are not considered tumors, and are usually non-cancerous.

What is considered a large arachnoid cyst?

The average arachnoid cyst size is less than 3 cm. An arachnoid cyst size of 3 cm or greater is considered dangerous. If your cyst is in a potentially dangerous location, has enough size and is causing symptoms, minimally-invasive surgery may be an option.

When should arachnoid cyst be removed?

Blocked CSF leads to a condition called hydrocephalus, which increases pressure inside the skull. If an arachnoid cyst bleeds, it can cause sudden, severe head pain. If your child’s cyst causes symptoms, doctors may recommend surgery to remove it. But most children with arachnoid cysts do not need surgery.

Can an arachnoid cyst be life threatening?

Small arachnoid cysts are usually symptomless and may not require treatment. If arachnoid cysts grow significantly, they may cause symptoms, such as headache, weakness and fatigue. In serious cases, symptoms may become life threatening. Symptoms occur far more frequently in children compared to adults.

What is the recovery from arachnoid cysts?

Depends: It completely depends on the method of removal and the size of the cysts. Small cysts done through a laparoscope or robot recover very quickly. Large cyst done with a laparotomy (regular incision) can take up to 6 weeks to recover.

When a spinal arachnoid cyst causes symptoms, surgery may be necessary to remove it. Some types of cysts can be removed completely, and the defect that allowed them to form can be closed. In other cases, this approach is not possible.

A 5 cm size arachnoid cyst is generally considered as a large cyst considering that there is no much extra space inside the skull cavity. However it is not just the size, but the location of the cyst counts too.

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