What is Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

 Skull base surgery is a subspecialty committed to techniques designed to reach and manage complex lesions at the base of the brain and skull.  The anatomy of the skull base provides significant challenges to the surgeon and requires a specialized set of skills to be able to navigate safely.  To be able to successfully manage lesions of the skull base a multidisciplinary approach must be taken.  At Florida Hospital, this includes a team of skull base experts from neurosurgery, otolaryngology, neuro-otology, plastic surgery, interventional neuroradiology, neuro-oncology, radiation-oncology, and spine surgery.  This specialized team allows Florida Hospital to successfully and safely treat many tumors and disorders of the skull base that until recently were thought to be untreatable due to unacceptably high risks.

 

At Florida Hospital, we take an individualized approach to each patient.  We look at every direction and consider every option to best approach each skull base lesion while at the same time we also determine which option is least risky to that individual.  Cases are presented at our biweekly brain and spine tumor conferences and our multidisciplinary team creates a unique plan for each and every patient.  In some cases, the result may be a single procedure to treat the patient, but for others a multimodality approach may be necessary to cure the patient and minimize risk.  This may include open surgical skull base approaches combined with minimally invasive approaches to attack a tumor from all directions or it may include both surgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery if part of a lesion is not resectable without considerable risk but is initially too large for radiosurgery to be effective.  We may also incorporate image-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), traditional fractionated radiation therapy, or chemotherapy when appropriate to the treatment plan.  In many cases, a combination of surgical and non-operative therapies may be recommended to minimize patient risk but also increase the likelihood of cure.  At Florida Hospital we create hope for many skull base pathologies when in the past no option for cure was available.

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