Skull base surgery may be done to remove both benign 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 such a difficult area to see and reach, skull base surgery may be done by a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure in which instruments are inserted through the natural openings in the skull—the nose or mouth—or by making a small hole just above the eyebrow. This type of surgery requires a team of specialists that may include ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgeons, neurosurgeons, and radiologists.
What is skull base surgery?
With skull base surgery, the tumor or aneurysm is sitting beneath the brain. Neurosurgeons approach either from underneath or from the side of the tumor or aneurysm. The shorter surgical pathway results in less brain disturbance compared to more invasive procedures. Recovery time can also be quicker and complications fewer with this approach.
Recovery time can range from three to four days to several weeks, depending on the approach and location of the tumor.