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Ommaya Reservoir Insertion: A Technical Note.


Ommaya reservoir insertion is an elective neurosurgical procedure to deliver repeated intraventricular therapy, but placement can be complicated by malposition of the catheter, clogging, infection or poor postoperative cosmesis. Here, we describe the technique used by the senior author for accurate placement including preassembly of the reservoir and catheter, and recessing of the reservoir so that others may consider the technique for their practice. Results in a consecutive series of 27 Ommaya placements were reviewed. Catheter tip placement accuracy, complications and surgical times were reported. Indications were leptomeningeal cancer or infection. Postoperative imaging showed the catheter tip was located in the frontal horn (96%) or body (4%) of the ipsilateral lateral ventricle. The median surgical time was 36 minutes (range 17-63 minutes). There were no parenchymal or subarachnoid hemorrhages. Infections occurred in 7% (n=2) of cases, and both infections presented greater than 60 days postoperative. In conclusion, we have found that image guidance can optimize accuracy in placement, that preassembly of the reservoir and catheter may be used with a 25-gauge spinal needle stylet to minimize risk of clogging during placement, and that recessing of the reservoir produces the best aesthetic result.

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