Skull Base Surgery for Tumor Removal


Skull base surgery is a minimally-invasive approach to removing tumors.

Skull base surgery is any type of surgery performed at the skull base. The skull base is the area where five cranial bones meet to form the base of the skull, the eye socket, part of the nasal cavity and sinuses, and some of the ear bones.

This is an area of the body that contains many different parts, many of which are critical to a number of systems. As a result, this surgery is highly specialized and requires extensive training.


What Is Skull Base Surgery?

There are two different types of skull base surgery: endoscopic skull base surgery and traditional craniotomy. Endoscopic skull base surgery is minimally invasive and involves only a small incision to allow room for an endoscope and surgical instruments. An endscope is a small, flexible tube with a camera on one end that allows the surgeon to see inside without making a large opening. Endoscopic skull base surgery is ideal because it comes with less risk and a shorter recovery period.

However, some conditions may require a craniotomy, which is a surgery in which a larger opening must be made and part of the skull may need to be temporarily moved in order to access and treat the condition. There is also sometimes the option to treat skull base conditions with radiosurgery, which is non-invasive and utilizes targeted radiation to remove tumors.

Who Is A Candidate For Skull Base Surgery?

Skull base surgery is an option for many people suffering from a number of conditions involving the face and skull. This includes tumors, cancerous and benign, that could be located in the ear, nose, sinus cavities, spinal cord, or base of the skull.

The physician will have to perform scans and laboratory tests prior to determining if the patient is a candidate. If the patient is prone to infections or has certain medical conditions, they may not be eligible for this type of surgery. Additionally, they will have to consider the placement, size, and type of growth or abnormality. If the obstruction is small and easily accessible, it is likely that patient will qualify for endoscopic skull base surgery as there is less risk involved.

Associated Risks

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved when skull base surgery is performed for tumor removal. Generally, the risks are minor and can include infection, bleeding, and soreness at at the incision site.