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.
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.
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.