Minimally invasive resection of intracranial lesions using tubular retractors: a large, multi-surgeon, multi-institutional series

Daniel G. Eichberg, Long Di, Ashish H. Shah, Evan M. Luther, Christina Jackson, Lina Marenco-Hillembrand, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Michael E. Ivan, Robert M. Starke, Ricardo J. Komotar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Lesions located in subcortical areas are difficult to safely access. Tubular retractors have been increasingly used successfully with low complication profile to access lesions by minimizing brain retraction trauma and distributing pressure radially. Both binocular operative microscope and monocular exoscope are utilized for lesion visualization through tubular retractors. We present the largest multi-surgeon, multi-institutional series to determine the efficacy and safety profile of a transcortical-transtubular approach for intracranial lesion resections with both microscopic and exoscopic visualization. Methods: We reviewed a multi-surgeon, multi-institutional case series including transcortical-transtubular resection of intracranial lesions using either BrainPath (NICO, Indianapolis, Indiana) or ViewSite Brain Access System (VBAS, Vycor Medical, Boca Raton, Florida) tubular retractors (n = 113). Results: One hundred thirteen transtubular resections for intracranial lesions were performed. Patients presented with a diverse number of pathologies including 25 cavernous hemangiomas (21.2%), 15 colloid cysts (13.3%), 26 GBM (23.0%), two meningiomas (1.8%), 27 metastases (23.9%), 9 gliomas (7.9%) and 9 other lesions (7.9%). Mean lesion depth below the cortical surface was 4.4 cm, and mean lesion size was 2.7 cm. A gross total resection was achieved in 81 (71.7%) cases. Permanent complication rate was 4.4%. One patient (0.8%) experienced one early postoperative seizure (< 1 week postop). No patients experienced late seizures (> 1 week follow-up). Mean post-operative hospitalization length was 4.1 days. Conclusion: Tubular retractors provide a minimally invasive operative corridor for resection of intracranial lesions. They provide an effective tool in the neurosurgical armamentarium to resect subcortical lesions with a low complication profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Brain tumor
  • Exoscope
  • Microsurgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Tubular retractor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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