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Tubular Retractor System for Neurosurgery

The tubular retractor system is a new minimally invasive procedure that can help your neurosurgeon manage several serious conditions:

  • Brain tumors
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Intracranial blood clots (blood clots inside the skull)
  • Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)

A retractor is any instrument that moves or holds tissue so a surgeon can reach a particular area. The tubular retractor is valuable because it moves aside the folds and delicate tissues of the brain with less risk of damage than other surgical methods – it displaces the tissue instead of cutting through it.

The tubular retractor system can be especially useful in situations when a tumor, blood clot or bleeding area is located deep in the brain. It also offers patients a less invasive option than traditional open surgery (craniotomy).

How the Tubular Retractor System Works

  • The surgeon makes a small incision in the skin and a small opening in the skull.
  • Computerized navigation helps the surgeon move the tubular retractor gently through the white matter of the brain and gain access to the area where the problem is occurring.
  • The surgeon works through the tubular retractor to extract the tumor or clot or control the bleeding. A fiber optic camera can be used to help visualize the area.
  • Once the problem is corrected, the surgical team withdraws the instruments, removes the tubular retractor and closes the small incision.

Because the tubular retractor system involves a smaller incision and less disruption to the brain tissue, it may involve less risk, less discomfort and a shorter recovery period than those associated with traditional surgery.

Your Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon will work with you to choose the most appropriate surgical procedure for your individual situation.

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To request an appointment or refer a patient, please contact the Johns Hopkins Aneurysm Center at 410-614-1533.
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