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Skull Base Surgery

What Is Skull Base Surgery?

Skull base surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that may be done to repair a brain abnormality or remove a tumor or growth at the base of your skull. This is a delicate area that houses many complex structures. Important nerves that control facial movements and basic functions such as sight, hearing, smell and taste enter and exit the skull at its base. Your spinal cord also passes through this area.

If you or a loved one needs diagnosis or treatment of brain conditions including traumatic brain injury or epilepsy, entrust your care to skilled doctors who specialize in this field. The neurosurgeons at Premier Brain & Spine are New Jersey’s top brain experts. These doctors are board-certified and have over 50 years combined experience.

Why Is Skull Base Surgery Performed?

When your doctor finds an abnormality at the base of your skull, surgery may be the next step. Conditions that can be treated using skull base surgery include:

  • Brain tumors or cysts, both benign and malignant
  • Aneurysms
  • Tumors of the sinuses or nasal cavities

Skull base surgery can repair congenital abnormalities or fractures of your skull base. It also let your neurosurgeon repair artery malformations or treat infections at the base of your skull.

What Are Symptoms of Skull Base Tumors or Disorders?

Brain conditions or abnormalities can affect your senses, memory and cognitive functioning. A growth or abnormality in the skull base can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the size and location of the problem. Symptoms you may experience include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Facial pain or numbness
  • Hearing loss
  • Balance problems

Brain tumors may not cause many symptoms until they’ve grown large enough to affect neurological functioning. If you experience symptoms such as worsening headaches, memory problems or changes in vision, hearing or speech, make an appointment with your doctor at your local neurosurgery and spine center.

How Is the Base of the Skull Accessed??

The goal of skull base surgery is to access and treat hard-to-reach areas at the base of your skull with as little impact on your brain as possible. Rather than doing a craniotomy, which involves removing part of your skull to access the brain, skull base surgery is usually done through natural openings in the skull. Some ways your surgeon may access the area include:

  • Through the nostrils
  • Through the mouth
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • By making a small opening in the skull just above the eyebrow

At one time, the skull base was considered difficult to access. Improvements in neuroimaging and other surgical advances have made treatment with minimally invasive surgical techniques possible. The neurosurgeons at Premier Brain & Spine stay up-to-date on the latest technology and the most sophisticated surgical techniques. For comprehensive care by the best doctors in New Jersey, contact the nearest neurosurgery and spine location to schedule a consultation.

Updated on Jul 27, 2022 by Dr. David Wells-Roth (Neurosurgeon) of Premier Brain & Spine

Premier Brain & Spine
10 Parsonage Rd, Suite 208A
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 258-0190