Skull base surgery is a highly specialized, minimally invasive surgical technique that is performed to eliminate cancerous or benign growth and brain abnormalities located on the underside of the brain. The surgery is done at the base of the skull and at the top of the first few vertebrae on the spinal cord. During the surgery, surgeons use special instruments inserted through the skull’s natural openings (e.g., nose, mouth, and above the eyes) to operate rather than accessing the brain through a craniotomy (surgical opening of the skull). Your surgeon will advise the best type of surgery depending on the symptoms, the type of growth, and the location of the surgery.
Skull Base Surgery
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A skull base surgery is recommended to the patients suffering from the following medical ailments:
- A birth defect in the skull known as Craniosynostosis
- Trigeminal Neuralgia – A condition in the trigeminal nerve that causes chronic pain to the patient• Cerebral aneurysm
- Chordomas – a kind of bone cancer in a malignant form
- Pituitary Tumours
- Cysts present in the brain from the time of birth
- An unexpected growth occurring as a result of some infection
- Arteriovenous malformations – the arteries and veins create an abnormal connection that tends to circumvent the capillary system
Skull Base Surgery- Procedure
Before undergoing a skull base surgery, there are certain medical tests and exams that play a crucial role in the prognosis of cranial base surgery as it cannot be examined with the naked eye. Usually, your doctor will recommend the following tests before planning your surgery:
- A biopsy is done to check for any cancerous growth in the area
- The doctor’s team will also conduct a physical exam to test the patient’s balance, cranial nerves for any hampered reactions dips in muscle activity and a test for blurred vision and hearing ability
- A series of brain imaging tests including CT scans, MRIs, PETs, MRAs to clearly see the inside of the skull and identify the need for invasive or minimally invasive spine surgery.