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Conditions We Treat: Arachnoid Cysts

An arachnoid cyst is not a brain tumor, but a pocket of fluid in the arachnoid membrane that surrounds the brain. Experts at Johns Hopkins can help clarify your child’s options and recommend which — if any — treatment is called for.

Arachnoid Cysts: Why Choose Johns Hopkins?

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  • Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeons have treated many children with arachnoid cysts and are familiar with the range of problems they can cause as well as the solutions to address them.
  • Our specialists include experts in cerebrospinal fluid and hydrocephalus, so if your child’s arachnoid cyst is causing symptoms, you will get a skilled team that can provide appropriate treatment.
  • If surgery is recommended for your child’s arachnoid cyst, you will find a dedicated and compassionate environment for healing at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, which offers comprehensive care and support for the entire family as well as the individual child.
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Arachnoid Cyst Treatments

Not all arachnoid cysts cause problems, and many can safely be managed with observation. You will get the knowledge and experience you need to make confident choices for your child’s optimal care.

The pediatric neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins are experienced in a number of treatments to address arachnoid cysts, including shunting and minimally invasive procedures, which, if they are right for your child’s individual situation, can mean less risk and faster recovery.

One surgical option is the minimally-invasive endoscopic fenestration of the cyst, where the physician drains the cyst with a needle.

Placing a shunt (a small, flexible tube, allowing the cyst to continually drain) is another option. Over time, the shunt itself may cause complications, so the neurosurgery team will discuss this option with you to weigh the pros and cons and decide if it’s right for your child.

Your doctor may recommend a mini-craniotomy to remove the cyst wall and restore normal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid along its path. This is a slightly more invasive procedure, but allows the surgeon to clearly see and address the cyst. 

Arachnoid Cyst Specialists

Our experts have years of experience in managing arachnoid cysts in children. Together our doctors, surgeons and advanced practitioners will formulate a treatment plan tailored to your child’s unique situation.

Dr. Alan CohenDr. Alan Cohen, Director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center

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