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Cyst on Pineal Gland

Posted by mariela on April 29, 1999 at 10:07:27
Yesterday I found out that a cyst on my pineal gland has doubled in size after six months (it's about 1 cm now). After reading the posting "arachnoid cyst on pineal gland" I realized I had some of the same symptoms described there (low energy and a constant headache). However, the neurologist's diagnose was "tension headaches" and these symptoms disappeared after I took amytriptilin for about 3 weeks. Six months later, however, the cyst is still there, and growing. The neurologist believes surgery is highly recommended, although he also said it's only a cyst, and nothing I need to take care of immediately. I am going to see a neurosurgeon next week for a diagnose. I would like to know if there is an alternative to surgery for treating this (i.e. some medication), and whether there is a neurosurgeon who is well known for performing these type of operations and who is very familiar with the pineal gland. I would also like to know how long is the operation, possible risks, and perhaps some questions I would need to ask the neurosurgeon. I appreciate any opinions, information and suggestion regarding this matter.
Posted by CCF MD GS on April 29, 1999 at 10:35:00
Thanks for the question. Most pineal cysts are incidental and found during a workup for headaches. We see several cases of these a year and generally just follow the abnormality. Very rarely do we recommend that patients have surgery on the cysts. Things that do concern us are persistant neurologic symptoms and increasing size of the cysts. Tumors can underlye some of these cysts and that is why they need to be followed. If the cyst is increasing in size then surgery should be explored. It is difficult without looking at the scans to teel you exactly what we would recommend. You should ask your surgeopn how many of these he or she has operated on and what their complication rate is. We have a comprehensive brain tumor group at CCF and would be pleased to review your case. You could call 216 444 5559 to make an appointment. It is impossible to give you more information without reviewing your scans. Good luck
this information is presented for general medical education purposes. Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.

Posted by mariela on April 30, 1999 at 10:02:28
Thank you for your quick reply and valuable information. I have scheduled an appointment in May at CCF with an onco-neuro surgeon for the careful examination of my MRI. Is there a place in Texas (Houston)were I could go for surgery?. I live in Texas. Thank you again, and keep up the good work!

Posted by CCF MD GS on April 30, 1999 at 14:21:44
You may want to look at MD Anderson in houston. Dr. Sawaya is one of the tumor neurosurgeons and is excellent.

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