What is skull base surgery?

Skull base surgery encompasses a variety of procedures designed to remove benign and malignant (cancerous) growths from the base of the skull and underside of the brain. Tumors of the skull base can be safely accessed and removed through the nasal passages, ear (or temporal bone), and upper neck. For this reason, otolaryngology (or ENT) surgical specialists are critical in both assessment and treatment of skull base disorders.

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The skull, the main area for skull base surgery

Where is the skull base?

The skull base is one of the most anatomically complex and intricate regions of the entire body. It encompasses the portion of the skull where the undersurface of the brain interfaces with the soft tissues of the face and neck. This region includes the temporal bone and inner ear, the occiput, the eye socket, the roof of the nasal cavity and sinuses, the back of the nose, the jaw joint, and upper neck. The brain stem, cranial nerves, and major blood vessels all pass through openings in the skull base. Because of the complexity of this region, skull base surgeons receive extensive, highly-specialized training, and treatment is directed by a multi-disciplinary team that include otolaryngologists, ophthalmologists, rhinologists, head and neck surgeons, neurotologists, neurosurgeons, and radiation oncologists.

How are skull base lesions diagnosed?

Skull base growths and abnormalities are diagnosed through careful examination, head and neck imaging (including MRIs, CT scans, and PET scans), and sometimes biopsies. Additional tests may also be required.

The skull base surgical team at CEENTA

CEENTA has physicians with sub-specialty interest and expertise in the treatment of diseases of the skull base, including adult and pediatric otolaryngologists, rhinologists, head and neck surgeons, and neurotologists. Our team also includes voice and swallowing experts and facial plastic surgeons who offer specialized rehabilitative services that maintain and improve quality of life. To enhance care, our physicians work closely with neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, and radiation oncologists, allowing patients to receive the specialty care they need in the most efficient manner possible.

How is the surgery performed?

Our surgeons are trained in both open and endoscopic surgical techniques and employ minimally invasive approaches whenever possible. Minimally invasive approaches avoid the need to make facial incisions or drill through the skull, thus patients can expect fewer complications and shorter hospital stays. Each patient is evaluated by our team to determine if they are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

What common skull base disorders are treated at CEENTA?

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Meningiomas
  • Chordomas
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Parotid gland cancers
  • Schwannomas
  • Glomus tumors/paragangliomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Olfactory neuroblastoma (esthesioneuroblastoma)
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leaks from the nose and ear
  • Encephaloceles
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Infectious growths

Scheduling a skull base surgical consultation at CEENTA

We have skull base surgeons throughout the Charlotte, NC, region with the training and experience necessary to give patients the best treatment possible. We are dedicated to providing the highest-level care for complex skull base lesions which is tailored to each individual patient.

Call 704-295-3000 to Schedule an Appointment

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