Endoscopic skull base surgery

Endoscopic skull base surgery

Skull base surgery may be done to remove both non-cancerous and cancerous growths, and abnormalities on the underside of the brain, the skull base or the top few vertebrae of the spinal column. Because this is a difficult area to reach, skull base surgery is most often performed as a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure through the nose. Conditions such as pituitary tumors, meningiomas, chordomas, cerebrospinal fluid fistulas, cysts and growths caused by infections are treated in this manner.

How is it performed?

  • Before the start of the surgery, the patient is given general anaesthesia.
  • The ENT surgeon uses radiological imaging to visualise the location of the tumour/growth at the base of the skull or brain.
  • A small incision is made inside the nose and an endoscope – a thin tube with a small camera and light at one end – is passed through the nose to the base of the skull to internally visualise the growth to be excised.
  • Using special tools, the tumour/growth is then carefully removed and pulled out through the nose.
  • The process is repeated till the entire tumour/growth is removed.
  • An MRI is performed once after the surgery to confirm the complete removal of the tumour/growth.
  • If the tumour is cancerous, the patient might additionally be suggested to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy to ensure complete destruction of cancer cells/tissue.

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