Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) is a tumor that arises in the ventricular system of patients with tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumor growth throughout the body. Because these tumors are found in the ventricles, the fluid-filled spaces within the brain, they can obstruct spinal fluid flow and cause neurologic symptoms.
When possible, the preferred surgical treatment at UPMC for SEGA is Neuroendoport® Surgery, which provides access to the ventricles through a dime-size channel. This minimally invasive approach offers the benefits of minimal scarring, fewer side effects and complications, and faster recovery times.
Like most brain tumors, subependymal giant cell astrocytomas are diagnosed through imaging studies such as MRI or CT scans.
Your physician will also ask you about your symptoms. These may include:
- nausea or vomiting
- weakness or loss of sensation in the arms and/or legs
- speech, vision, or memory problems
- personality changes
Surgery is the standard treatment for subependymal giant cell astrocytoma.
Neuroendoport® Surgery offers a minimally invasive option for tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces) or deep-seated tumors within the substance of the brain. A narrow tube or port allows doctors to access these tumors through a tiny incision in the scalp, in contrast to traditional brain surgery.
At UPMC, we take a 360° Approach to treatment when evaluating each patient—looking at their conditions from every direction—to find the path that is least disruptive to the patient's brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning. Our neurosurgical team may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to maximize the benefits of surgery while minimizing risks.