Skull Base Surgery

Skull base surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat both- benign and cancerous tumors present in the base of the skull or the top vertebrae. This method of treatment is better than an open surgery as the instruments are inserted through the natural openings of the skull instead of a large incision through the cranium. The skull can be accessed through three ways- Trans-nasal, Trans-oral and Supra-orbital. A skull base surgery is required in the conditions of cerebral aneurysm, meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas, pituitary tumors and other skull disorders. 

Know More About Surgery

A skull base surgery may be required when the following symptoms appear:

  • Facial pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and Weakness of the facial muscles
  • Numbness and loss of sensation 
  • Changes in personality
  • Vertigo and trouble to balance
  • Facial twitching
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of vision or Double vision
  • Bulging of the eyeball
  • Nasal congestion
  • Frequent nose bleeding
  • Sinus infections 

The requirement of a skull base surgery can be diagnosed by several imaging tests such as MRI, MRA, PET and CT scans which form detailed pictures of the skull and the tumors can be examined with precision. A biopsy is essential to observe abnormalities in the brain tissue as a small piece of the growth is taken out from the skull and is observed under the microscope. Other tests such for vision, smell, hearing and other senses are also carried out.

Skull base surgery is essential for the treatment of many skull disorders. It can be carried out in two ways: 
  • Minimally invasive skull base surgery is carried out through the nose, mouth or below the eyebrow and does not require a craniotomy. An endoscope is inserted through the opening which helps getting images of the tumors inside the skull and hence can be treated on with precision.
     
  • Open skull base surgery requires large incisions to be made in the skull. Parts of the bone and surrounding tissue also have to be removed in order to reach the tumors affectively. 
A suitable method is decided according to the size and location of the tumor. Along with the skull base surgery, chemotherapy, gamma knife and radiation therapy may also be essential to remove the cancerous growth.

There are several risks of Skull base surgery such as infection at the site of incision. There are also chances of hemorrhage, nerve injuries and brain damage. There may be a leak of the cerebro-spinal fluid which can cause further disorders of the brain. Eye complications such as blindness, vertical dystopia, double vision, canthal drift and many more can also occur. 

After skull base surgery, the patient is required to take sufficient rest. The patient regularly gets tested to ensure that the tumors don’t form again. The patient must call the doctor in case of:
  • High fever
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Infections at site of incision
  • Too much pain in the arm
  • Any kind of discomfort 

Skull Base Surgery from one of the best multi-speciality hospital: Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal, Hebbal, Bengaluru

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