This video is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on YouTube. It shows the oh-so-careful surgical removal of an egg-sized cyst (intact) from a person’s brain. The cyst is a hydatid cyst, which is the result of a parasitic infection by tapeworm larvae(Echinococcus). Generally speaking, it does not occur in the USA, but rather occurs in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, the southern part of South America, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, and southern parts of Africa. The cysts, which are initiated by one larvae, eventually come to house thousands of tapeworm larvae. So it is very important not to rupture the cyst during its removal, else the host could easily die. The cysts can occur in any organ, in this case, the brain. For more about the life cycle of the tapeworm, go here.
The video below uses saline to gradually “float” the cyst out of the brain. The neurosurgeon gently squirts small volumes of saline into the space around and behind the cyst until it neatly plops into the surgical pan, intact. The patient, a 16 year old girl, fully recovered.
Don’t forget to listen for the doctor’s remark at the end, when he sees the cyst. (The doctor was Dr P V Ramana , Neurosurgeon of Care Hospital, Visakhapatnam, India)
A few more tidbits
- I found out the precise location of the cyst in a comment by the doctor:
“It was intraparenchymal. I had to go transsulcal. I chose the place where the cortex was thinned out most.The cortical opening was done by just separation of tissue rather than cuting.”
- And, what happens to the hole the cyst left in the brain?
“The empty space initially gets filled up by the fluid which covers thr brain called CSF, then the brain which was compressed by the cyst expands to normal state filling up the space.”