Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

Virginia Mason's Skull Base Surgery Program treats several types of skull base tumors with endoscopes — instruments less than three millimeters wide outfitted with lights and a camera — to reach tumors through the nostril and sinuses. The endoscopes are used with angled surgical tips capable of fine maneuvering to not only reach, but often remove entire tumors: all without external incisions or craniotomy (removal of skull bone). This technique can offer numerous advantages to the patient, including a shorter recovery time, less pain and a reduced risk of complications.

What can be treated with endoscopic skull base surgery?

Operating with endoscopes is effective for tumors of the sinuses and craniofacial areas, whether malignant or benign. The endoscopic approach allows surgeons to start the procedure precisely at the tumor site and work outward, causing minimal disturbance to surrounding tissues. The reduced need to move or manipulate critical structures in the head means patients recover sooner and with less risk of complication.

Other conditions that can be treated with an endoscopic approach include:

  • Esthesioneuroblastomas
  • Sinonasal tumors
  • Inverted Papillomas
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leaks (CSF leaks)
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Meningiomas
  • Congenital lesions or malformations, including orbital and skeletal defects

Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery — the patient experience

Once surgery is recommended, various medical tests are completed to prepare for surgery. Imaging studies such as CT or MRI scans are used to plan surgery and facilitate image-guided technology in the surgical procedure. Other important facts about endoscopic skull base surgery include:

The experts in the Skull Base Surgery Program apply the latest endoscopic surgical techniques for a less invasive treatment of tumors and other disorders of the skull base. Learn more by calling (206) 223-6374.