BACKGROUND: Total removal of craniopharyngiomas is burdened by high morbidity. In cases of a cystic or mixed craniopharyngioma, when the symptoms are caused by the cystic component of the tumor, a less invasive surgical approach aiming at cyst drainage may be recommended. Here, we report our experience with intraventricular neuroendoscopy, describe our clear-cut surgical technique, and analyze results in the context of literature data. METHODS: We reviewed the clinical data of 8 consecutive adult patients affected by cystic or mixed craniopharyngioma who were treated with intraventricular neuroendoscopy at our institution in the last decade. At surgery, wide opening and emptying of the cyst was performed; a ventricular catheter with adjunctive holes was then placed to maintain a continuous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) washout. A systematic review of the pertinent literature was performed and a pooled analysis of individual data from selected studies was made. RESULTS: Ten neuroendoscopic procedures were performed. The treatment determined immediate neurologic and radiologic improvement without significant complications in all patients. No chemical meningitis was observed. Recurrence rate was 20%, in line with literature data. Median progression-free survival was 57 months. The systematic review of the literature showed that neuroendoscopy carries a lower recurrence rate than stereotaxy (P = 0.0390). Moreover, the creation of a cyst-CSF communication is a protective factor against recurrences. Finally, adjuvant radiotherapy determined no significant differences in terms of cyst recurrence rate. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a neuroendoscopic treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas that, without adjuvant radiotherapy, is safe and effective and ensures long-term recurrence-free survival.