Rathke’s Cleft Cysts

What are Rathke’s Cleft Cysts?

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Rathke’s cleft cysts are benign, fluid-filled cysts. While they sometimes have minimal symptoms, they can grow over time, causing compression of the optic nerve and leading to decreased vision or to double vision because of additional pressure on other cranial nerves.


Generally, surgical drainage or removal is the treatment of choice for Rathke’s cleft cysts. In the past, these cysts were treated with a transsphenoidal approach that uses an incision below the lip or in front of the nose. Now, a minimally invasive, endoscopic endonasal approach allows for excellent treatment without the need for these incisions.

Read more about the endoscopic endonasal procedure.