Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery
If you have a skull base tumor, such as a pituitary tumor or a tumor located toward the front part of the skull, you may be able to have the tumor treated and removed endoscopically.
Your doctor might recommend a type of surgery that is carried out through the sphenoid sinus, which is located directly behind the nose. Using this method means the doctor does not enter the brain cavity itself. Pituitary tumors and certain meningiomas are just two of the brain tumor types that are removable using this noninvasive endoscopic approach for brain tumor treatment.
During the procedure, you will be placed under anesthesia, and your endoscopic surgeon at the Skull Base Center will place a small endoscope (about the diameter of a pea) through one nostril. The endoscope has a powerful camera at the end of it which allows the surgeon to view the area directly. The surgeon is then able to use small micro-instruments placed through the right and left nostril to carefully remove your tumor. Once the tumor is removed, the floor of the skull base is repaired and the endoscope is removed.
As a brain tumor treatment, endoscopic surgery is less invasive than traditional open surgical techniques which results in a faster, less painful recovery. The endoscope also allows the surgeon to see areas all around the tumor, and surgery for most pituitary tumors takes about three hours.
After an endoscopic tumor removal, some patients may need to take hormone replacements, which will be discussed with your endocrinologist at your post-operative visit. If the tumor is able to be fully removed, no further treatment, other than routine follow-up MRIs, is required.